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Move to rein in prices of medicines

Published: 18th May 2013 12:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2013 12:03 PM   |  A+A-

Prices of 348 essential medicines will come down in the state, thanks to a new drug price control order by the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

 Sources say the prices of these drugs will be reduced by as much as 10-20 per cent, once the new pricing plan comes into effect in two months.

The new order authorises the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to regulate prices of essential medicines as listed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011.

National List of Essential Medicines  includes drugs like Paracetamol, Tramadol, Carbamazepine, Ampicillin, Amikacin, Vitamin C, oral rehydration salts, etc. Ceiling prices of NLEM drugs will now be fixed as per the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy.

The policy says that the ceiling price of an essential drug will be the simple average of all brands with a market share of at least one per cent.

P Hariprasad, Drugs Controller, Kerala said,”The state has submitted the existing price list of drugs to National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority.

It will take at least two months to implement the new pricing policy. Consumers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this new policy”, he added.

According to the Department of Pharmaceuticals’ new order, the Government will bring prices of 348 essential drugs (all formulations) mentioned in the National List of  Essential Medicines (NLEM) under control against the current practice of controlling prices of 74 bulk drugs and their formulations.

Manufacturers will be free to fix any price for their products, as long as it is equal to or below the ceiling price, which would be fixed on dosage basis, such as per tablet/capsule/ standard injection  volume as listed in National List of Essential Medicines -2011.

N R Hariharaputhran, President, All Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association-Ernakulam confirmed that the price of major drugs in the state will be cheaper by 10-20 per cent under this new price control order by the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

 “Apart from this the government will get more control over the industry too”, he added.



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