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NPPA’s arbitrary and unilateral action has shocked the industry: Dr Shailesh Ayyangar, President, OPPI

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In a move that is likely to bring down prices of some key medicines, drug pricing regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has recently fixed the price of 108 non-scheduled formulation packs of 50 anti-diabetes and cardiac medicines. NPPA in its notification said, “NPPA has fixed the prices of anti-diabetic and cardiovascular in respect of 108 non-scheduled formulation packs under Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013,” NPPA said in a notification.

According to a PTI report, the drugs that will become cheaper would include atorvastatin, gliclazide, glimepiride, heparin and metolazone, among others.

Commenting on NPPA’s notification, Dr Shailesh Ayyangar, President, OPPI said, “NPPA’s notification extends beyond the mandate of DPCO 2013, which addresses pharmaceutical pricing based on the ‘essentiality’ criteria and clearly states the “intention of the policy is to bring the essential medicines under price control and not to control the Indian Pharmaceutical industry.”

Ayyangar added, “The pharma industry seeks stability and predictability in the regulatory environment and our expectation has been reinforced by assurances from several departments and officials in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. They committed to a consultative process with all stakeholders and transparent, market-based pricing caps on essential medicines, with continued flexibility in the pricing of other medicines. We were assured that there would be no volatility in pricing, that Government would work in close consultation with industry and that the intent was to build trust and cooperation. However, NPPA’s arbitrary and unilateral action runs contrary to all these sentiments. It has shocked the industry and will be detrimental to the investment climate for market expansion, brand building and employment generation in the future.”

“The pharma industry is an integral part of the healthcare system and its growth and sustainability is critical to a robust healthcare environment. We urge the Government to revisit this decision and help build a more collaborative environment, partnering and engaging with all stakeholders to find sustainable solutions to the healthcare challenges that face our country today. We hope that authorities will engage and partner with the pharma industry, to make quality medicines available at affordable prices for the most vulnerable populations, instead of resorting to arbitrary pricing decisions,” Ayyangar said.

EP News BureauMumbai

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