62 medicines turn costlier, 14 cheaper

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 17, 2011

Prices of 62 drugs, mainly used for treating diabetes and tuberculosis, have been raised while the rates of 14 other medicines have been reduced by drug pricing regulator NPPA.

However, prices of 21 drugs have remained unchanged after a fresh review of the pricing of key medicines by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) at its meeting last week.

The NPPA, which considered rates for 19 drugs for the first time, reviewed prices of drugs used in treatment of diabetes, allergy, malaria, diarrhoea, asthma and hypertension along with antiseptics.

“We have to do a balancing act and provide a level playing field to the indigenous manufacturers that account for nearly 10 per cent of the total domestic market for insulin,” the NPPA Chairman, Mr S.M. Jharwal, told PTI.

He said that despite the increase in prices of insulin-based medicines, drugs for treatment of diabetes manufactured by two domestic firms — Biocon and Wockhardt — would still remain affordable.

“Although the prices of the indigenously manufactured insulin-based formulations have been increased in range of 5-18 per cent, they would still be lower by nearly 15 per cent than the formulations based on the imported bulk insulin drug,” Mr Jharwal said.

On its decision to increase prices, NPPA said raw material cost and revision in the norms of conversion cost, packing charges and pricing of packaging materials as notified on December 16, 2010 necessitated the move.

The companies which would be affected by the price revision include Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, GSK, Biocon, Wockhardt, Lupin and Cipla, the NPPA said.

The NPPA also cut prices of four bulk drugs, following which diuretic spironolactone and salbutamol sulphate will be cheaper by 2.5 per cent and 18.87 per cent respectively.

According to it, bulk drug pyrantel pamoate (used in formulations of deworming medicines) and anti—allergic pheniramine maleate will be costlier by 8.12 per cent and 13.87 per cent respectively.

The reduction in prices of formulation drugs has been in the range of 2.47 per cent to 35.04 per cent from the prices claimed by the respective companies.

The price revision included more than 25 anti—TB drugs for which there was no significant increase while sulphadoxine plus pyrimethamine tablets will cost more due to upward revision in the import price of bulk drugs used for malaria.

The prices of certain drugs used for asthma and hypertension have been reduced, NPPA said.

Published on March 17, 2011
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