NPPA Once Again Floats RFP To Conduct Study On Affordability And Accessibility Of Medicines In 10 Countries

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New Delhi : The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has restarted its works to analyse the drug pricing policies of at least 10 different countries and collect the lessons learnt from those countries in terms of access to medicine at affordable prices.

The Authority, after floating a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting reputed firms or research institutions to conduct such a study in January, this year, has cancelled the RFP “due to administrative exigencies”, in February this year.

It has issued a new RFP with last date and time of the submission of the bid, both technical and financial, on May 9, 2022. The financial bids will be opened on June 1, 2022, though the Authority reserves the right to amend the RFP, tentative schedule and critical dates.

The study is to understand the drug pricing methodology adopted in the international market and to understand the lessons learnt/best practices from various countries and regions in terms of availability and affordability of medicine.

The agencies winning the bid should study regulatory policy and framework of at least ten countries and identify the best practices there. The minimum ten countries or regions that should be converted are Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America, Brazil, South Africa, and Thailand.

They should study the operational implementation of the drug pricing policies and other policy aspects that impact the availability and affordability of medicines in different countries.

The study will be primarily based on secondary sources of data and other information available in public domain. Interviews/focus group discussions (FGDs) with foreign missions, relevant trade and industry associations, drug exporters, foreign manufacturers should also be conducted to elicit their feedback/ views.

The final report shall be submitted in four months, and quarterly progress shall be submitted by the applicant till the final submission of the report.

“The agency is required to work in close coordination with NPPA and NPPA may review the progress periodically like weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc. The report shall be considered as final, only when it has been accepted by NPPA,” said the RFP document.

The agency should have relevant experience in conducting studies/ research in pricing regulation of pharmaceutical products and medical devices or related subjects. The agency must have a minimum average annual turnover of Rs. 3 crore during the last three financial years (2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21) and the entity should not have incurred losses in last three years. The Bidder should have head office or a local office located in Delhi or NCR which has been operational for the last three years or more.

The NPPA, engaged in drug price regulation and monitoring activities, has been looking at improving its policy and framework methods in tandem with the developments in the industry and technology. Of late, it has also been engaged in monitoring and regulating medical devices and the trade margin involved in these products, especially in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

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