The drug pricing regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), on Tuesday said it will fix the ceiling prices of over 300 medicines by the end of this month, a move that will come as a major relief to patients.
“We will fix the ceiling prices of over 300 formulations based on bulk drugs by the end of this month. This would include around 237 formulations the ceiling prices of which we have already fixed,” NPPA Chairman C P Singh said.
According to industry experts, the implementation of the new drug policy could lead to slashing of prices of many anti-cancer and anti-infective drugs by 50-80 per cent.
The initiative by NPPA follows the government notification of the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013, with effect from May 15, replacing the earlier 1995 order.
The new order is set to regulate the prices of 348 essential drugs listed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). Earlier, Drug Prices Control Order 1995 regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs.
As per the new drugs policy, all strengths and dosages specified in NLEM 2011 will be under price control.
According to the approved policy, prices of medicines will now be capped by taking simple average of all brands which have more than one per cent market share instead of input costs.
“What has been seen is that in the process so far there has been around 15 to 20 per cent reduction in the prices of most medicines across the board,” Mr Singh said.
As per the DPCO 2013, issued under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, NPPA is the implementation authority for the new policy.