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NPPA caps prices of 31 essential drugs up to 35%

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 09, 2016

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Fixes prices of eight medicines and revises the ceiling price of 23 more.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Saturday capped the prices of 31 essential medicines, including anti-cancer drugs and antibiotics, bringing down the prices in the range of 1.5 to 35 per cent.

The latest notification from the Authority has fixed the prices of eight medicines and revised the ceiling price of 23 more. NPPA, which is also looking at fixing prices of certain essential medical devices in the near future, regularly caps prices of essential medicines listed under the National List of Essential Medicines as per the Drug Price Control Order.

The authority has the right to fix prices of the essential medicines according to a calculation based on a weighted average of the same medicine sold by different companies, with an added margin. For non-essential medicines, it allows companies to hike prices by 10 per cent on the basis of WPI inflation.

On Saturday, NPPA fixed the prices of eight medicines, including anti-cancer drug Imatinib, the price of which has been fixed at Rs 72.03 per capsule. Fluoxetine, which is used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions has also seen a price cap of Rs 3.68 per tablet. Antibiotics Azithromycin and Nitrofurantoin, anti-viral Ganciclovir, cardiac medicine Propranolol and antacid Omeprazole have all seen price caps under the notification by the authority.

The essential medicines list has over 800 formulations under it and more additions are expected.

Despite capping of prices by the NPPA, large-scale violations by unhappy pharmaceutical manufacturers is common. While it has made claims of over Rs 4,950 crore from erring pharma companies, it has been able to recover less than Rs 380 crore of that amount, owing to several litigations and challenges to its orders.

Published on October 09, 2016
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