NPPA Asks Leading Pharma Companies To Provide Explanation On Overcharging Cases

Mumbai : Leading pharmaceutical companies like B Braun Medical (India) Pvt. Ltd, Novartis India Ltd, Sanofi, Pfizer Limited, Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Cipla Limited, Zydus Healthcare Ltd, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Sun Pharma Laboratories Limited, Eris Lifesciences Pvt Ltd, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Biological E Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Pvt Ltd and Wyeth Ltd have been issued the provisional list of overcharging cases under litigation related to Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) violations of 1995 to 2013.

Amount related to overcharged cases range from as high as Rs. 1,069.59 lakhs to Rs. 6,290.42 lakhs with respective companies on medicines meant for treatment of diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disorders, respiratory tract infections, skin infections, cough, cold, fever and epilepsy.

The industry on behalf of the companies has, however, urged the government to urgently settle all the 324 overcharging cases which are under litigation since the past two to four decades related to Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) violations in response to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)’s recent directive to the pharmaceutical companies on the pending overcharging cases.

The drug pricing regulator NPPA had recently directed all the concerned companies to provide relevant data based on the updated provisional list of 324 overcharging cases under litigation related to DPCO of 1979, 1987, 1995 and 2013 violations.

“Cases need to be settled on priority as they have been under litigation for as old as 40 years or so. There have been several representations made followed by the constitution of a Drug Prices Liabilities Review Committee (DPLRC) under a Retired Judge. But nothing has been achieved till date. These cases should be brought under some kind of Amnesty scheme at the earliest for their settlement in the interest of the government and industry,” said an industry source on conditions of anonymity.

As per the NPPA order issued, the companies have been directed based on the subject cited and to state that NPPA has taken up an exercise to update the database in respect of overcharging cases (OC) under litigation relating to DPCO -1979, 1987, 1995 and 2013. The data available in respect of such OC cases has been updated.

NPPA order further stated, “It has been decided to upload the provisional list of OC cases under litigation on the website of NPPA so that companies involved may see the status of their case and if there is any discrepancy in the provisional list, the concerned companies may provide appropriate information or feedback. Such feedback from the companies would help in timely updation and reconciliation of data.”

Feedback from companies, seeking any modifications in the provisional list, should be appropriately backed by supporting documents. The interest amount in respect of cases included in the provisional list have been updated wherever possible upto November 30, 2020. Any payment/ part -payment made has been adjusted from overcharged amount while updating the interest, due to which in some cases the date of updation on interest may vary.

The data provided by the company shall be examined by NPPA. If found correct, required modifications, additions or deletions shall be done in the provisional list, the NPPA order stated.

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