The process of fixing the ceiling prices could take another two months
The government has increased the number of drugs under price control to over 800 formulations, bringing medicines used for treatment of diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, analgesics and cardiovascular diseases under its purview.
Officially confirming addition of over 200 formulations under price cap, the Department of Pharmaceuticals has notified amendment of the Schedule I of Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013 for substituting the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011 by NLEM 2015.
“Earlier 628 drug formulations were under price control under NLEM 2011, now it has been increased to over 800,” a senior official told PTI.
When asked for comment on its implications on the pharma sector, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance Secretary General DG Shah said: “The exact impact on the industry will be known only when the average ceiling price on these drugs, which have been brought under the control, is decided by NPPA.”
The process of fixing the ceiling prices could take another two months, the official said.
In December 2015, a core committee constituted by the Health Ministry had added 106 medicines while 70 were deleted in a revision of the NLEM 2011 and expanding the list of national list of essential medicines to 376 from 348.
The 106 drugs added to the national list of essential medicines included that for cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiology and Hepatitis C among others.
A variety of drug formulations are derived from these essential medicines, which satisfy the priority healthcare needs of the population and are listed with reference to the various levels of healthcare namely primary, secondary and tertiary.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is mandated to fix or revise prices of controlled bulk drugs, formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country besides monitoring prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.