NPPA Current Affairs - 2019

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NPPA reduces Prices of 9 Non-Scheduled Cancer Drugs by 87%

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.

Key Facts

  • 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%.

About NPPA

  • 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.

Prices of 90 cancer medicines cut by up to 87%

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has reduced the MRP of 390 non-scheduled cancer medicines have been reduced by up to 87%.  NPA has asked the manufacturers and hospitals to revise the prices based on the trade margin formula.

The release by the NPPA states that five brands will see a price reduction of about 70%, while 12 others will see a 50-70% price cut. MRPs of 45 cancer medicines will reduce by 25%.

Benefits from the Move

  • This price reduction is expected to result in annual savings of around Rs 800 crore for patients.
  • The price reduction is expected to benefit about 22 lakh cancer patients in India.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) constituted in 1997 is an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.

The functions of NPPA include:

  • To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order.
  • To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
  • To collect and maintain data on production, exports and imports, the market share of individual companies, the profitability of companies etc, for bulk drugs and formulations.
  • To undertake relevant studies with respect to the pricing of drugs and pharmaceuticals.
  • To render advice to the Central Government on changes and revisions in the drug policy.
  • To render assistance to the Central Government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing.

NPPA implements the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy 2012. NPPA provides ceiling price to all Drugs notified under Schedule-I of the DPCO, 2013 and monitors annual price increase for these and the non-scheduled drugs.