NPPA revises ceiling prices of over 800 scheduled drug formulations from April 1

Currently India has approximately 400 molecules and 960 formulations covered under the National List of Essential Medicines

Published - April 01, 2024 07:39 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Representational file image.

Representational file image. | Photo Credit: K.K. Mustafah

Cost of antibiotics and painkillers have registered a marginal hike in cost starting April 1 with the drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority’s (NPPA) latest notification allowing price hike for select medicines by 0.00551%.

While the marginal hike has come as a relief for consumers pharmaceutical companies claim that they are grappling with rising cost of raw material and tightening price control mechanisms. The Department of Pharmaceuticals has now issued its annual list of revised ceiling prices for 923 scheduled drug formulations and revised retail prices of 65 formulations with the ceiling rates coming into effect from April 1. This revision is part of routine exercise undertaken by the NPPA.

Also read | Pharmaceuticals Department forms panel to reform prices of drugs and medical devices

Drug pricing regulator announced an annual change of 0.0055% increase in prices of drugs under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), in line with the annual change in the wholesale price index (WPI). 

“Based on the WPI data provided by the office of the Economic Advisor, Department of Industry and Internal trade Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the annual change in WPI works out as (+) 0.00551% during the calendar year 2023 over the corresponding period in 2022,” the notice by the NPPA said.

The pharma industry previously saw two price hikes of 12% and 10% in last year and 2022. In 2019, NPPA used its emergency powers to raise the ceiling prices of 21 essential drugs by 50% after several companies applied for the discontinuation of products due to high cost.

Currently India has approximately 400 molecules and 960 formulations covered under the NLEM. The prices of non-essential drugs are also monitored by the government to ensure that the manufacturers of these drugs don’t increase MRP by more than 10% annually. The NPPA follows DPCO, 2013 which allows for price hikes in line with the changes in WPI index. Annual hikes in the prices of drugs listed in the NLEM are based on the WPI.

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