NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday revoked two orders of the pharma pricing authority to cap condom prices, saying the orders were illegal and unsustainable.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw set aside the November 4, 2013, and July 10, 2014, orders of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) by which a ceiling was imposed on the prices of condoms by including it in the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO).
“The orders of NPPA dated November 5, 2013, and July 10, 2014, are illegal and unsustainable. In the result, both the said orders are hereby set aside,” the court said.
The court’s verdict came on a plea by two pharma firms -- Reckitt Benckiser and J K Ansell Ltd (JKAL) -- which had contended that their products were devices and not medicines and thus would not fall under the DPCO and hence, no cap can be put on their prices.
On the other hand, the government said if luxury condoms were removed from the DPCO, then the manufacturers would flood the market with their expensive varieties and make the less costly contraceptives scarce. In their petition, the two pharma firms had claimed that their products were luxury products meant to enhance pleasure and had sought clarification on whether the current ceiling would apply only to utility condoms.