New Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013 to slash prices of Essential Medicines by 80%
With the new Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013 coming into effect, the prices of 348 medicines, including life saving drugs will be cheaper soon by up to 50% to 80%.
What is DPCO 2013?
The Department of Pharmaceuticals has notified the DPCO 2013, with effect from May 15, 2013, replacing the 1995 DPCO. Unlike the previous Drug Prices Control Order 1995 which regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs, the new order will give power to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy (NPPP) 2012 to regulate prices of 348 essential drugs. The DPCO 2013, issued under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, will lay the framework of the drug policy and mechanism of regulating prices.
As per the NPPP:
- All strengths and dosages specified in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011 will be under price control.
- 348 essential medicines will be brought under price control and which will lead to reduction in prices.
- Prices of medicines will now be capped by taking simple average of all brands which have more than 1% market share instead of input costs.
- National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) will be the implementation authority for the new policy and the new DPCO.
- Companies are debarred from using the WPI (Wholesale Price Index) to increase the prices of the essential medicines on their own each year. The companies will now have to seek approval from the NPPA whenever they want to increase the prices of the items covered under the DPCO.
- NPPP is expected to cover up to 30% of the total drugs sold in India.
Note: India’s domestic drug market valued at around $13 billion is the 4th-largest in the world by volume.