New ceiling prices of 814 scheduled formulations became effective from Saturday with drug pricing regulator NPPA fixing the cap in sync with the new GST regime. These formulations include medicines used for the treatment of cancer, HIV, diabetes and infections among others.
In a notification, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said the fixation, revision of the prices of 814 scheduled formulations were done under Schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order, 2016 under DPCO, 2013. Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar had said yesterday that NPPA will work out a mechanism ensuring patients do not pay more for drugs whose prices are expected to go up after the GST implementation.
NPPA has already said that prices of around 78 per cent of ‘actively used’ drugs will remain unaffected after the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which took effect today. “Price of drugs where partial increase is expected due to roll out of GST will not be passed on to consumers as NPPA is working out a mechanism in this regard,” Kumar had told reporters.
He had further stated NPPA is working out a mechanism “to subsume for partial increase of retail prices of some drugs”. Kumar reiterated that “prices of life saving drugs and essential drugs rates will come down with reduction in GST rate”.
The regulator had earlier indicated that the prices of majority of essential drugs would increase by up to 2.29 per cent when the GST regime kicks in. The government has fixed GST rate of 12 per cent on most of the essential drugs as against the earlier tax incidence of around 9 per cent.