NPPA has fixed ceiling prices of 355 medicines and 882 formulations for medicines under the National List of Essential Medicines, 2015 (Schedule-I of DPCO, 2013). Most of the drugs that are part of COVID-management protocol have ceiling prices, viz., Paracetamol, Dexamethasone, Methyl Prednisolone, IVIGs, Enoxaparin, Budesonide, Heparin and Amphotericin, etc, informed Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, in a written reply in the LokSabha recently.
The NPPA, with the help of Price Monitoring and Resource Units (PMRUs) and State Drug Controllers (SDCs), undertakes activities related to market-based data collection, monitoring of the notified prices of medicines and detection of violation of the provisions of Drug (Price Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013).
The authority fixes the ceiling prices of scheduled formulations as per the provisions of DPCO, 2013, and monitors the prices of non-scheduled drugs so as to ensure that their prices do not increase beyond 10 per cent in a year.
In the case of few non-scheduled medicines like Remdesivir, which are part of COVID protocol and are non-scheduled, on government intervention, MRPs of various brands of Remdesivir have been reduced voluntarily by the major manufacturers/marketers of the Remdesivir injection (lyophilized). Inter-brand MRPs that varied up to Rs 5,400 per vial were brought down to less than Rs 3,500.
Furthermore, to facilitate availability and ensure affordability, NPPA has capped the trade margin for oxygen concentrators at 70 per cent on Price to Distributor (PTD) level vide notification dated 3rd June, 2021 and on pulse oximeter, glucometer, BP monitor, nebuliser and digital thermometer vide notification dated 13th July, 2021.