Department of Pharmaceuticals Current Affairs - 2019
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The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has reduced the prices of 9 non-scheduled cancer drugs by up to 87%. This decision is in continuation of nodal agency’s efforts to bring down drugs prices.
- Reason: In February 2019, the government had capped about 42 cancer drugs at 30%. This new anti-cancer non-scheduled medicine list is in continuation of efforts to curb profiteering on these vital drugs and to make cure of cancer affordable for patients as well as for their families.
- Significance: More than 390 brands and about 72 formulations have reduced costs following the NPPA order. This price reduction is expected to benefit more than 22 lakh cancer patients in India and will result in annual savings of around Rs.800 crore rupees to patients.
- Details: NPPA, the Drug pricing regulator issued an office memorandum which mentioned that:
- Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of 500 mg chemotherapy injection called ‘pemetrexed’ which is used to treat lung cancer, has been reduced from Rs.22000 to Rs.2800.
- MRP of 150 mg ‘Erlotinib’ tablets will now cost Rs.2400 instead of Rs.8800.
- NPPA has also approved a formula which restricts trade margin of selling price by up to 30%.
- It was established by a Government of India Resolution in 1997. It is an office attached to Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- Function: It is an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs. Ito ensures accessibility and availability of medicines to people at affordable prices.
- The NPPA currently fixes price of drugs on National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) under schedule-I of Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO). Till date about 1,000 drugs have been price-capped by this mode.
Tags: Anti-cancer drugs • Cancer Drugs • Department of Pharmaceuticals • Drug Price Control Orders • Drug Pricing • Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers • National List of Essential Medicines • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority • NLEM • NPPA
The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers will constitute multi-disciplinary committee of experts for consultation on matters pertaining to implementation of drug price control order (DPCO) including technicalities involved in pricing and new launches.
It will have member secretary of National Pharmaceutical Pricing authority (NPPA) as its convener. It will also have representatives from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Department of Health Research/Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and NIPER as members.
The committee will be constituted taking in view of the experience gained from implementation of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 for consultation on all technical issues related to pricing, launch of new drugs with ancillary provisions where more clarity is required.
The committee is also mandated to recommend its opinion on claims of pharma companies about any additional therapeutic features associated with any formulation. It will also recommend separate ceiling price of scheduled formulations or retail price of any new drug with specified therapeutic rationale.
It will also give its opinion on claims of pharma firms about additional pharmacoeconomics features associated with any formulation/Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). Besides, it will also give opinion on technical related issues such as whether a drug is scheduled or non-scheduled on basis of ingredients used in formulation.
It will give opinion on technical issues and claims by pharma companies about novelty associated with indigenous research and development of their products, for granting exemption from price control order for period of 5 years.
The recommendations of committee will considered by NPPA which will pass reasoned order on it. The committee will be empowered to invite or co-opt any other specialist depending on exigencies of circumstances requiring resolution of any specific matter arising out of implementation of various provisions of DPCO 2013.