In a much needed move, prices of over 50 essential drugs including those used for treatment of HIV infection, diabetes, anxiety disorders, bacterial infections, angina and acid reflux have been capped by the government, leading to a price cut in the range of 5 per cent to 44 per cent.
The National Drug Pricing Regulator has also fixed the retail prices of 29 formulations.
"NPPA has fixed/revised ceiling prices of 55 scheduled formulations of Schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order,2016 and retail price of 29 formulations under DPCO, 2013 in related Notification /order dated 23.12.2016," National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said in a statement.
On being contacted about the price reduction, NPPA Chairman Bhupendra Singh told PTI: "The prices have been reduced in the range of 5 to 44 per cent, with the average being about 25 per cent".
As stipulated under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) 2013, NPPA fixes ceiling price of essential medicines of Schedule I.
In respect of medicines not under price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price by 10 per cent annually.
The calculation for essential drugs is based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1 per cent.
The government had notified the 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 DPCO and monitoring of prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.
(With PTI inputs)