The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the ceiling price for 123 medicines in July. Cumulatively, since April of this year, it has put fresh ceiling prices for total 316 drugs.
Moreover, NPPA fixed retail prices of 51 new medicines during last month, bringing cumulative figure for 2016-17 to 90.
“118 cases of overcharging have been identified by NPPA,” said department of pharmaceuticals, the nodal authority under which NPPA functions.
In December 2015, while issuing a new National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), the government had added 106 and removed 70 medicines from the earlier one of 2011, expanding the list to 376 from 348 earlier. Whenever there is a new NLEM, the government has to issue a new Drug Price Control Order and NPPA needs to set their ceiling prices subsequently.
Based on the new NLEM, the government on March 14 notified the Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order, 2016. It has 820 formulations. There were 628 formulations under the DPCO of 2013, notified in the wake of the NLEM of 2011.
In case of medicines not under price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price by 10 per cent annually. The calculation of ceiling price 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.
Set up in 1997, NPPA has been entrusted with the task of fixation/revision of prices of pharma products, enforcement of provisions of Drug Price Control Order and monitoring of prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.