The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has extended the revised ceiling price of Heparin Injection 5000IU/ml and 1000 IU/ml up to March 2021.
The authority has taken the decision based on a letter submitted by the Committee headed by Dr S Eswara Reddy, Joint Drug Controller, CDSCO. It states, “NPPA may continue with the increased ceiling price for Heparin Injection 5000IU/ml, to ensure continuous availability of this essential drug. The letter further added that recent spurt in the number of cases in some states may also lead to higher demand for the drug. And the ceiling price of Heparin may be reviewed after the COVID-19 situation becomes normal or earlier as deemed fit.”
Based on the committee’s opinion, the NPPA authority deliberated upon the matter in detail and looking at the availability of Heparin Injection 1000IU/ ml and Heparin Injection 5000IU/ ml, a scheduled formulation, especially during the pandemic situation of COVID-19, felt that any situation of non-availability due to increase in the price of API needs to be seen from a public interest perspective.
“Due to an extraordinary situation, the Authority decided to extend the revised ceiling price of Heparin Injection 5000IU/ml and 1000 IU/ml fixed vide SO. 2151(E) dated 30.06.2020 up to 31.03.2021, in the public interest. The Authority further directed that the provisions of para 13(2) of DPCO 2013 would not be applicable on the revised ceiling price of Heparin 1000IU/ml Injection and Heparin 5000IU/ml Injection up to 31st March 2021,” stated in the NPPA’s minutes of the meeting.
Dr Ketan R Patel, Chairman and MD, Troikaa Pharmaceuticals said, “The decision to extend the validity of the revised ceiling price of Heparin Injections is very much appreciable in view of the fact that due to the continuing high demand of the product, the prices of Heparin API continue to be high. This timely step will ensure the availability of this drug which is of vital use in patients suffering from severe COVID-19 infection.”
Vivek Padgaonkar, Independent Healthcare Consultant and Former-Director OPPI (Project & Policy) said, “The decision taken at the 81st authority committee meeting to extend the validity of the revised CP of Heparin Injections is much appreciated as due to severe COVID-19 infection the demand for Heparin will be high and also the prices of Heparin API and KSM will continue to be high. NPPA has really followed the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy, striking a balance between the availability of the medicines and pharma industry’s growth.”
Shirish Ghoge, Ex-senior Director Government Affairs of Abbott and Ex-senior Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs Sanofi India expressed, “It is the right decision to give relief to Heparin injection manufacturers. However, it is unfair that no such price increase was given for Enoxaparin injections, although the active ingredient Enoxaparin’s only starting material is Heparin and the price of Enoxaparin has increased in tandem with that of Heparin. Despite more than 100 per cent increase in the cost of active ingredient Heparin, the manufacturers of Enoxaparin (both local and imported) have continued to supply Enoxaparin injections, absorbing the entire increase in cost. It should be appreciated that this is not sustainable. We request NPPA to give a similar increase in the ceiling price of Enoxaparin Injections as given for Heparin to enable manufacturers to continue uninterrupted supply to fulfil its high demand from COVID-19 affected patients.”
This year in June, the NPPA had allowed 50 per cent price increase for heparin injection in the country which was valid until December 31, 2020. It is also an essential medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.