by Madhumathi Palaniappan on  December 26, 2016 at 1:10 PM Health Watch
  • Essential medicines are drugs that satisfy the health care needs of the majority population.
  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in India has slashed the prices of essential medicines by up to 44%.
  • Prices of drugs used for HIV, diabetes, anxiety disorders and angina have been capped.

The prices of essential drugs have been reduced in the range of 5% - 44% in India by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to make medicines more affordable for the people.

Essential drugs for which the prices have been slashed include drugs that are used for the treatment of HIV, diabetes, angina, anxiety disorders and bacterial infections. The NPPA has also fixed the retail price of 29 formulations.
Essential Drugs Price Slashed By Up To 44% in India

Essential Medicines
According to the World Health Organization, the essential medicines are those drugs that satisfy the health care needs of the majority population.

Concept of Essential Medicines
  • Regularly update medicines providing new therapeutic options for treatment
  • Ensure drug quality
  • Provide highly effective and affordable medicines for the people
Bhupendra Singh, NPPA chairman, said, "The prices have been reduced in the range of 5 to 44 per cent, with the average being about 25 per cent".

As mentioned under the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013, The ceiling price of Schedule I essential medicines are fixed by the NPPA. For medicines that are not under the price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the retail price by 10% every year.

The price calculation for essential drugs are based on the average of all the drugs in a particular segment with a sale of more than 1%. The Health Ministry has notified the Drug Price Control Order 2013 which covers the price of 680 formulations replacing the 1995 order with only 74 formulations.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals has included stents "bare metal stents and drug eluting stents (DES), which include metallic DES and bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS)/biodegradable stents" in the schedule I of DPCO 2013. This decision has come months after the Health Ministry has included the stents in the National List of Essential Medicines in july.

The Medical Technology Association of India, said, that "We have been surprised and disappointed with the decision of including the category of Drug Eluting Stents under Schedule 1 of Drug Price Control Order, 2013. The industry has been working closely with the pricing authorities to bring transparency on the pricing issue and arrive at scientific methodology to differentiate among various value-added versions of Drug Eluting Stents. The decision disregards the innovative nature of the medical technology sector which has evolved over the last 20 years globally and is still evolving."

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority under DPCO 1995 was established by the Government of India to fix, revise and control the prices of bulk drugs and formulations.

"NPPA has fixed or revised ceiling prices of 55 scheduled formulations of Schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order, 2016 and retail price of 29 formulations under DPCO, 2013 in related to the Notification /order dated 23.12.2016." National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said in a statement.

The NPPA is headed by the Chairman Bhupendra Singh, secretary members who monitor the overcharging prices of the drugs and advisors who make essential policies and handle legal issues related to price control.

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Source: Medindia

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