The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has been assured by pharma industry body Indian Drugs Manufacturing Association (IDMA) that there is no shortage of active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations in the country due to coronavirus outbreak, Rajya Sabha was informed recently. “NPPA has informed that they have not received any reference regarding shortage of active pharmaceutical ingredients. IDMA has assured that its members have enough stocks of APIs and formulations,” Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda said in a reply.
NPPA has also informed that it has not received any reference from pharma associations regarding steep increase in price of medicines due to outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in China, he added. “NPPA is monitoring the situation regularly to ensure that ceiling prices of essential medicines are not breached,” Gowda said.
Moreover, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Eshwara Reddy, Joint Drugs Controller, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) to address the issue of drug security in the country in the context of novel coronavirus outbreak in China, he added. “Based on the recommendations of the committee, the department has issued necessary instructions to NPPA and Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to ensure adequate supply of APIs and formulations at affordable prices in the market and to prevent black-marketing, illegal hoarding and creating artificial shortages in the country,” Gowda said.
The policies formulated by the government from time to time are designed to minimise country’s dependence on imports and to give fillip to indigenous manufacturing, he added. “In this direction, the Department of Pharmaceuticals has formulated a scheme namely ‘Assistance to Bulk Drug Industry for Common Facility Centre’ for providing assistance to bulk drug industry for common facility centre in any upcoming bulk drug park promoted by state governments/state corporations,” Gowda said.