Going forward, drug prices may have to be cut down by pharma companies in view of increasing sales happening online and at Jan Aushadhi generic drug outlets.
Both generic drug outlets as well e-pharmacies sell drugs cheaper by about 30-40 per cent, or even higher in some cases, as they can cut down costs in supply chain management and inventory management.
When asked if if there is any pricing pressure in view of this, Rajiv Sibal, President, India Region Formulations, Lupin Ltd, said that penetration of e-pharmacies ‘is very small now’. “But, yes. Once the new law comes as far as pharmacy is concerned, once the penetration goes up, obviously, there will be some pricing pressure,” he added.
The Centre had last year proposed draft guidelines for e-pharmacies and final norms are expected to be out soon. The final rules, the government said a couple of months ago, will provide a boost to e-pharmacies allowing them to function on par with physical drug stores.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), VG Somani, told BusinessLine that modalities such as norms for physical testing drugs were being worked out by government.
While any price reduction is welcome for patients apparently, it will impact the bottomline of the pharma companies which are already experiencing pricing pressure in the US.