Meet Your Crusader against Obscene MRP on Medicines

P Somani, Founder President, Nizamabad Chamber of Commerce exposes Pharma Business’s Underbelly


New Delhi: Amrit (nectar) may be round the corner for millions of patients in the form of caping of dirty high margins of profit in pharma business in Amrit Mahotsav of 75th Independence Day of India.

After hearing that PM Narendra Modi might announce this much awaited respite to hapless patients of India who are being fleeced via high MRP printed on the medicines, P Somani, Founder President of Nizamabad Chamber of Commerce, is brimming with anticipation to see years of his campaign against the conspiracy of huge and abnormally MRP (Maximum Retail Price) printed on the medicines. His fight was long drawn out and tough but all through Mr Somani carried the conviction- Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai

The focus of his crusade against high price of medicines has been high MRP printed on medicines. Mr Somani insists that trade margin in pharma trade should not be allowed to be more than 30 percent. But his main contribution has been to make PM Modi see the conspiracy behind obscenely high MRP. Mr Somani is the sole crusader who has finally completely exposed the underbelly of Pharma Trade wherein MRP is deliberately jacked to fleece hapless patients. He met officials of Chemical & Fertilizer Department like DoP secretary, NPPA chairman, Drugs Controller of India and others umpteenth of times through years of his crusade to impress upon them how high MRP is a conspiracy foisted on patients. He has been meeting over a dozen of central ministers on the issue. Mr Somani met many heavyweights of RSS with the intention of taking the matter to prime minister. According to Mr Somani when he explained the conspiracy of high MRP to RSS leaders, they were shocked and assured Mr Somani that they would take his analyses to PM and they did. If PM Modi announces caping of margin of profit on medicine on 15th August, it would not be an exaggeration to say that big part of outcome belongs to Mr Somani.

It is interesting to know, thanks to Mr Somani’s peep into Pharma’s underbelly, Pharma companies print high MRP, many times of the prices they sell their medicines to retailers only to increase the volume of their trade. High MRP is Pharma Companies bribe to retailers. Mr Somani would show you peeling layer by layer how shameful is the game of profiteering in Pharma trade. He is well equipped to expose the ugly face of racketeering in Pharma trade. According to Mr Somani arbitrary high MRP is the result of nexus between Pharma companies and retailers. Mr Somani has dug out the prices at which pharma companies sell their medicines to retailers to underline the yawning gap between those selling prices and high MRP printed on them.

Second focus of his crusade is to expose shenanigans in the name of generic medicines. Mr Somani has found after due diligence that there are no generic medicines in medicine shops other than government’s’ generic pharmacies. Non- governmental shops sell branded medicines in the name of generic medicines. He has called for regulation ensuring generic medicines have only salt names. The fact is so called generic medicines have names of branded medicines.

It is may seem strange that a business leader should holler for slashing of profit in trade but, that is what is making his voice credible and compelling the powers that be to listen to Purushottam Somani’s prescription – put 30 % trade margin on entire medicines to protect both patients and government’s earning from income tax and GST. It may not seem possible but he is brimming with confidence chanting Modiji Hai to Mumkin Hai.

30% cap on cancer medicines due to his efforts has proved a booster dose for Mr Somani, Founder President of Nizamabad Commerce & Industry. This has toughened his resolve to take his fight to logical end- to get abnormal MRP, sometimes up to 5,000%, slashed to 30% across all medicines. Exposing threadbare the scams of high MRP in medicine business, Mr Somani demands end of category of drugs into schedule and non-schedule and put 30% margin cap on entire medicines.

Talking to Medicare News, Mr Somani said Govt. is losing approximately 3.3 lacs crore income tax and 1.1 lacs crore GST from hospitals doctors and attached medical shops as manufactures are printing abnormal MRP upto 5000 % to get the business.

According to him, there is no need of bifurcation of schedule or non-schedule drugs. Govt. can put 30% trade margin cap on entire medicines, lifesaving drugs, devices on MRP prices on or above Rs. 2/- MRP (for viability) like cancer drugs. He said, ‘Entire drugs and devices prices will be slashed upto 90% without affecting manufacture’s selling price and reasonable profit to wholesalers and retailers but 130 crore people will be benefited and getting out of financial crunch because medical expenses are far more than foodexpenses

Mr Somani further said, ‘I have given representation to Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modiji on 20/10/2018 for trade margin cap on medicine & from 08/03/2019, Govt. has brought trade margin cap on 390 cancer drugs without affecting the manufacturers selling prices & reasonable profit to wholesalers & retailers without losing any revenue by Just putting 30% trade margin cap on MRP on manufacture’s selling prices. Due to this, up to 87% cancer drug prices has been slashed and 26 lacs cancer patients are getting affordable medicines & saving their lives.

Mr. Somani says, ‘I have studied for 1107 medicines of 5 leading companies of which average MRP is 500% more than retailer’s purchasing cost. As on today, manufacture’s total turnover is 3 lac crore (without exports) whichmeans retailers turnover should be 15 lac crores. So, the question is whether govt is getting income tax and GST on 15 crores? The answer is–no. Govt. is getting income tax and GST on only approximately 4 lac crores which means Govt. is losing approximately 3.3 lacs crore in income tax and 1.1 lacs crore in GST, but public is getting looted by buying medicines on MRP. By trade margin cap govt. will not lose revenue and public will be safeguarded.

P.R Somani further added, ‘One the on hand the govt. is saying to buy generic medicines but on other hand generic medicine’s MRP is printed similar to branded medicines. As such there is no difference or one cannot differentiate in generic & branded medicines as both are printed with the brand name. This must be kept in mind, after expiry of patent all are generic medicines only. There is no difference in quality.


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