The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to set up an NPPA cell to deal with the drug price ceiling violation at its headquarters in Mumbai for want of funds which it is still awaiting to be sanctioned from the Centre. This is after more than two years since the proposal was discussed with the national drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
As per the proposed plan which was discussed with NPPA in 2016, the state drug regulator was supposed to provide an office space for the drug price monitoring cell at its headquarters. Following which, Maharashtra FDA gave its consent on the same but is still awaiting to have the funds sanctioned for the purpose.
With the implementation of the plan, violations of drug ceiling pricing reported will be dealt timely with the help of the state NPPA cell in coordination with the NPPA in cases of contraventions to the provisions of Drug Price Control Order (DPCO-2013).
Under the proposed scheme, the cell is to be headed by one person along with a team of NPPA officials whose strength will vary as per the size of the pharma industry in the respective states.
NPPA held a meeting with all the state drug controllers in 2016 in Delhi to set up price monitoring cells in all the states across the country. While the expenditure related to manpower, amenities and other infrastructural cost will be borne by the Centre, state government will have to provide the space for setting up the office within the state drug regulatory office, as per the plan.
As per the provisions of the law, NPPA will provide certain monetary benefits to set up the cell. Government has earmarked an amount of Rs. 67 lakh for all category A states in the country of which Rs. 7 lakh has been earmarked for infrastructure and equipment, Rs. 19 lakh for manpower, Rs. 24 lakh for training, Rs. 12 lakh for data collection and sampling and Rs. 5 lakh as contingency fund.
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh etc fall under the category of A states. NPPA has categorised the states based on three categories, i.e. based on maximum, minimum and least number of pharma cos in the state for better division of work.
Through the price monitoring cells, NPPA will closely work with the state drug regulators to find out any discrepancies that affect the consumers. The officials heading the cell will report their findings to the NPPA directly in case they find any pharma company violating the law by selling the drugs above the ceiling price.