The parliamentary consultative committee Sunday said medicines sold in shops would indicate maximum retail prices (MRP) inclusive of taxes from Oct 2.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the committee, which is attached to the ministry of chemicals, fertilizers and steel. The members were discussing the draft national pharmaceutical policy, 2006.
The members decided that the 354 drugs in the national list of essential medicines should be brought under price control in order to make available drugs at reasonable prices.
The members also agreed that the maximum allowable post-manufacturing expense (MAPE) should not be more than 100 percent as this level was considered adequate and there was no need to allow a MAPE of 150 percent as proposed in the draft policy.
The committee also agreed that the government should give highest priority to make medicines available to the poor. The members decided that families living below the poverty line should be given drugs free of cost.
"We have assessed that about Rs.30 billion would be required for this purpose," said Ram Vilas Paswan, minister of chemicals and fertilizers and steel.
The members said the government should ensure a provision for health insurance for these families.