ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Drug Price Control

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) released a new set of price notifications for 50 cardiovascular and diabetes medicines under paragraph 19 of the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013, on 10 July. The notifications for the 108 formulations (two were subsequently withdrawn) of these selected medicines are in addition to the notifications for essential medicines declared under the DPCO, 2013. The earlier notifications for essential medicines excluded several dosage forms and strengths because they did not feature in the ­National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), 2011. The recent notifications were necessary to cover more of the strengths of medicines than that are listed in the NLEM. In addition, the notifications also covered medicines in the cardiovascular and diabetes therapeutic categories that are not included in the NLEM.

We welcome the initiative of the NPPA to cap the prices of formulations involving essential and life-saving medicines that fall outside the NLEM as a first step towards the institution of a robust, pro-public health policy of drug price control. This is an action that truly interprets the spirit of the DPCO, and its under­lying legislation the Essential Com­modities Act, 1955. In the past, despite its attention being drawn to the profiteering in medicines not listed in the ­DPCO, the government had looked the other way.

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