Prices of 24 essential drugs used for treatment of cancer, HIV, bacterial infections, anxiety and cardiac conditions have been capped by the government, reducing the cost by an average of around 25 per cent.
“National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed/revised ceiling prices of 24 scheduled formulations of schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order, 2016,” the drug pricing regulator said in a order on its website.
It has also capped the retail price of 31 formulations under DPCO, 2013, NPPA said.
“The prices of 24 drugs have been reduced on an average of 25 per cent. In some cases the reduction is 10 to 15 per cent while for others it is up to 30 to 35 per cent,” NPPA Chairman Bhupendra Singh said.
The government fixes the prices of essential drugs based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more than 1 per cent.
It also monitors the maximum retail prices (MRP) of all the drugs and companies are allowed to hike prices of non-scheduled drugs by up to 10 per cent in a year.
The government had notified DPCO, 2013, which covers 680 formulations, with effect from May 15, 2014, replacing the 1995 order that regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs.
Set up in 1997, NPPA has been entrusted with the task of fixation/revision of prices of pharma products, enforcement of provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order and monitoring of prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.