Economy

Drug pricing policy goes to Cabinet for final nod

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 21, 2012

The Group of Ministers on pharmaceutical pricing policy has resolved all issues, claimed its chairman Sharad Pawar here on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters after a meeting of the GoM, Pawar said that the drug pricing policy will now go the Cabinet for its final approval.

The policy is aimed at controlling prices of 348 essential drugs. Though the GoM had approved the policy in September, the Finance Ministry had reportedly raised certain concerns. Wednesday’s meeting was attended by the Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, too. He, however, refused to comment on the matter.

Pawar said the Cabinet will consider the policy before the Supreme Court’s deadline to finalise the matter, which is November 27.

When asked whether the GoM has made any changes in the policy, he said since the matter will go to the Cabinet, he will not make any further comments.

The Supreme Court had asked the Centre to finalise the policy before November 27. It had also observed that the Centre should not change the existing drug pricing policy.

The Finance Ministry had reportedly objected to the pricing mechanism citing that it will result in escalating the prices of various low-priced drugs. The Finance Ministry had also endorsed the current pricing mechanism.

Since the matter has now gone to the Cabinet, it is learnt that there will be changes in the mechanism decided earlier by the GoM.

>jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 21, 2012

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