21st January, 2019

Ceiling-price for 51 essential drugs set by NPPA

If you are constantly cursing the prices of essential drugs then this news is for you.

In a welcome move, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped the prices of 51 essential formulations. This includes those that are used for the treatment of cancer, pain, heart-conditions and skin problems.

The prices have been slashed by 6 to 53 per cent.

The drug price regulator said that it has notified the ceiling prices of 13 formulations. The prices of 15 formulations have been revised. The retail prices of 23 essential formulations have also been notified.

Which drugs have undergone price revision

The ceiling prices for drugs used in colon or rectal cancer treatment (oxaliplatin injection 100mg), Japanese encephalitis vaccine and measles rubbela vaccine have also been notified.

The ceiling prices of drugs, including anaesthetic sevoflurane, Phytomenadione (Vitamin K1) and tuberculosis prevention medicine BCG vaccine have been revised too.

What are essential drugs?

Any drug qualifies to become an essential drug if its sales, in a particular therapeutic segment, is more than 1 per cent in a month.

Role of NPPA

Set up in 1997, NPPA has been entrusted with the task of fixation/revision of prices of pharma products, enforcement DPCO orders and monitoring of prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.

The NPPA fixes the ceiling price of essential medicines that belong to Schedule I under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) 2013.

The prices of the medicines that are not under the price control may be increased by 10 per cent annually by the manufacturers.