Price restrictions for the drugs sold in India should be on check, recommends a parliamentary committee. The law allows the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) regulator to fix prices of drugs on a list of essential medicines and keep prices in check.
A standing committee with a panel of 31 lawmakers on chemicals and fertiliZers, noted in a report that all medicines should be available in the market at an affordable price.
About 12% of the medicines sold nationwide are currently under price caps, including 348 drugs classified as essential medicines. Though the companies are allowed to hike their prices by up to 10% a year, the government regulates the prices of all other medicines.
DG Shah, Secretary general, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) said, "It is a part of the policy. Pharmaceutical companies don't get a chance to hike prices (more than once) a year. This price hike is linked to inflation."
All the drugs on the government's HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis control programs are likely to be added to the list of drugs subject to price caps.
Both local and foreign drug makers in India oppose the restrictions on price caps though the government earlier allowed pharmaceutical companies to hike rates of 509 essential medicines used for diabetes, hepatitis and cancer by 3.84%.