To sort the implementation issues of the drug price control, the Indian government is reviewing the Drug (Prices Control) Order, 2013, which could make it more efficient for the consumers and the industry.
"We are discussing...and will keep discussing to see if there are any anomalies in the order and at the same time, we want to make the regulations more clear," sources said.
The idea is to make the price control order easy to implement, they added.
The government, according to the sources, has sought inputs on DPCO from all stakeholders, including the industry and the civil society.
Meanwhile, a task force constituted by the Department of Pharmaceuticals has also recommended review of DPCO 2013.
"There is a need to review the implementation of DPCO 2013 to resolve genuine practical problems of implementation. The government may implement a predictable and stable price control mechanism through a consultative approach with the industry," the task force had said in its report submitted last month.
Pointing to the shortage of drug inspectors, the task force had suggested one drug inspector per 50 manufacturing units and one inspector per 200 sales/distribution outlets.
As stipulated under DPCO 2013, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixes the ceiling price of essential medicines of schedule-I.
So far, the authority has fixed the ceiling price of 530 formulations from the list. And no one is authorized to sell any scheduled formulation (medicine) to a consumer at a price higher than the one notified by NPPA under the order.
While fixing the ceiling price, 16 percent margin is allowed for retailers. For non-scheduled formulations, there is no control over the launch price.
In respect of medicines not under price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price (MRP) by 10 percent annually.