Essential Medicines Current Affairs

NPPA fixes retail price of 30 drug formulations

Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed retail price for 30 drug formulations, including those used for treatment of diabetes, bacterial infections and high blood pressure. The prices were fixed/revised under Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

NPPA is independent body under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It was set up in 1997. Its mandate is to fix/revise controlled bulk drugs prices and formulations, enforce prices and availability of medicines under DPCO, 2013. It also monitors prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels. The regulator implements and enforces the provisions of DPCO. It is also entrusted with task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for controlled drugs from consumers.

Essential medicines

Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the country’s population. They are listed with reference to the levels of healthcare namely primary, secondary and tertiary. They are generally based on the country’s disease burden, priority health concerns, affordability concerns etc.

In India, National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) formed in 2011 decides the essential medicines. The list is prepared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. NPPA fixes ceiling price of essential medicines of Schedule I under DPCO 2013.

The calculation for essential drugs is based on simple average of all medicines in particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1%. In respect of medicines that are not under price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price by 10% annually.

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NPPA cap prices of 51 essential medicines

The drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped prices of 51 essential medicines, including those used for treatment of cancer, heart conditions, pain and skin problems.

NPPA through separate notifications notified ceiling prices of 36 medicines and revised ceiling prices of 15 medicines. The prices were slashed in range of 6 to 53%.

Key Facts

All manufacturers of scheduled formulations, selling branded or generic or both versions of scheduled formulations (drugs) at price higher than ceiling price as fixed and notified by Government, have to revise prices downward not exceeding the ceiling price. Moreover, manufacturers of these 51 formulations have to furnish quarterly returns to NPPA through IPDMS (Integrated Pharmaceutical DataBase Management System).

Besides, any manufacturer intending to discontinue production of any of 51 drugs has to furnish information to NPPA, with respect to discontinuation of production of drug or its import, at least six months prior to intended date of discontinuation.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

NPPA is an independent body under Department of Pharmaceuticals under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Its mandate is to fix/revise controlled bulk drugs prices and formulations, enforce prices and availability of medicines under Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 1995/2013, recover amounts overcharged by manufacturers for controlled drugs from consumers and monitor prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.

NPPA fixes ceiling price of essential medicines that are listed in Schedule I of DPCO, 2013. The calculation of prices cap for essential drugs is based on simple average of all medicines in particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1%. Medicines that are not under price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price by 10% annually.

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