New Delhi: The government is set to make it mandatory for chemists to mention in the bill whether they are selling a price-controlled drug or not. This is an attempt to empower consumer and save them from paying more for medicines.
The move will enable a consumer to make an informed choice while also checking that the maximum retail price (MRP) of a scheduled or price-controlled product is not more than what has been fixed by the government.
The latest proposal by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority is aimed at making consumers more aware while allowing them the choice of buying cheaper medicines.
As reported by Times of India the regulator said, "This will enable the consumer to know whether the medicine purchased by him/her is a scheduled medicine or non-scheduled medicine and in case it is a scheduled medicine, he/she can verify whether the MRP is within or exceeding the ceiling price plus applicable local taxes; and in case of the latter, he can file a complaint with NPPA for initiating necessary action against all concerned under DPCO 2013 and the Essential Commodities Act, 1955".
Earlier, the NPPA had proposed that medicine packs should carry an identification mark or strip to distinguish between price-controlled and unscheduled medicines. However, pharmaceutical companies and industry bodies opposed the move saying it would create confusion for the consumer as already there is a lot of information on the pack. Besides, this would have meant incurring an additional packaging cost for drug manufacturers.
Now, the regulator has designed the new mechanism to give more power to consumers. NPPA is expected to meet pharmaceutical retailers to discuss the proposal.