Coming down heavily on the draft National Pharmaceuticals Policy, industry body OPPI has said the proposed policy will hamper the growth of the pharmaceutical sector and lead to the destruction of Indian pharma companies.
"The previous governments had reduced the number of drugs under control from 347 to 143 and finally to 74. The Drug Policy in February 2002 had proposed a further reduction from 74 to about 30. The current policy hence will not promote the industry but would hamper its growth," Director General of Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India Ajit V Dangi told PTI.
"The move (of bringing more drugs under price control) will act as a barrier to our growing markets and it will lead to the destruction of Indian Pharma companies," he said.
Instead of widening the list of drugs under the price control regime, the government should ensure access to basic healthcare facilities, Dangi added.
Criticising the proposal to include 354 drugs in the price control regime, he said it would drastically hit the margins of drug manufacturers.
He said the prices of medicines were already lowest in India, even lower than other neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Sri lanka and Indonesia and there were no apparent reasons to reduce them further.
If the government wanted to lower it further then it should be looking at drugs taxation, he observed. The easier way to reduce prices is to cut taxes such as excise duty which push the prices of medicines up by 75 percent.