108 ANTI DIABETIC & CARDIAC DRUGS BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL

In a move that is likely to bring down prices of some of the key medicines, drug pricing regulator NPPA has fixed the price of 108 non-scheduled formulation packs of 50 anti-diabetes and cardiac medicines.
"The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the prices of anti-diabetic & cardiovascular in respect of 108 non-scheduled formulation packs under Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013," NPPA said in a notification.
The drugs that will become cheaper would include atorvastatin, gliclazide, glimepiride, heparin and metolazone among others.
Commenting on the judgement, Indian Pharma Alliance's Secretary General D G Shah said the industry body is against invoking Para 19 of DPCO by NPPA for extending price control to non-schedule products.
Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, authorises the NPPA in extraordinary circumstances, if it considers necessary so to do in public interest, to fix the ceiling price or retail price of any drug for such period as it deems fit.
"If NPPA is allowed to pursue this course of action, every drug will be under price control, making National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) redundant," he added.
As per the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013, the government currently controls the prices of 652 essential drugs listed in the NLEM.
Commenting on the development, Angel Broking VP Research - Pharma Sarabjit Kour Nangra said: "It is estimated that around Rs 5,500 crore of the pharma market will be impacted, with the range of prices being reduced from 10-15 per cent to as high as 35 per cent, with the average reduction around 12 per cent".
It is a rare invocation of a lesser-used provision in the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), she added.
What makes the development significant is that NPPA has fixed prices of those medicines which are not listed under the national list of essential medicines (NLEM), Nangra said.
"With this list, the total market of cardiac medicines under price control, including the earlier ones, stands at 58 per cent besides 21 per cent of the anti-diabetic market that comes under the purview," she added.

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