‘Pharma study to help CCI take steps to raise drug affordability’

Currently, competition is based on brands, not price: Gupta

Published - November 09, 2021 04:16 am IST - NEW DELHI

Side view of the capsule in production line.

Side view of the capsule in production line.

Fair trade regulator CCI will identify measures to enhance competition in the country’s pharmaceutical sector for ensuring affordability of drugs after analysing findings of its market study, which is likely to be completed within a month, according to its chief Ashok Kumar Gupta.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI), which keeps a tab on unfair, initiated the study after observing issues such as lack of “effective consumer choice”.

“Currently, it appears that, when it comes to medicines, competition is primarily on the basis of brands and not prices. The study will identify measures to increase competition for ensuring affordability of drugs,” the CCI chairperson said. Market studies had been initiated in pharmaceuticals and telecom, given their significance in the “new COVID-19-induced socio-economic milieu”.

Mr. Gupta noted that the pharma sector study was initiated “because of observable demand-side issues, such as lack of effective consumer choice”.

‘Imbalance in e-com’

In 2020, the CCI study of the e-commerce space revealed bargaining power imbalance and information asymmetry between platforms and their businesses as emerging issues.

“Exercising the advocacy mandate, CCI nudged e-commerce platforms to institute a set of self-regulatory measures over certain areas such as search ranking, collection/ use / sharing of data, user preview mechanisms, revision of contract terms and discount policy,” Mr. Gupta said.

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