Indian drug makers are seeking to hike the prices of all the 74 essential medicines. These medicines were put under price control by the government due to the importance of these drugs to public health.
All the drug packs containing the listed 74 medicines are under surveillance by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) — India drug pricing watchdog. NPPA checks all the formulations based on these essential drugs periodically for price revision and alerts the manufacturers on violations.
The drug regulator annually fixes the maximum retail price of medicines that contain any one of the 74 raw materials that are under the price control of the government, as per the Drugs Price Control Order.
The Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO) 1995 is an order issued by the Government of India under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to regulate the prices of drugs. The Order provides the list of price controlled drugs, procedures for fixation of prices of drugs, method of implementation of prices fixed by Government and penalties for contravention of provisions among other things.
NPPA is vested with the powers for implementing provisions of DPCO. Only 74 (see the list of price-controlled drugs below) out of 500 commonly used bulk drugs are kept under statutory price control. All formulations containing these bulk drugs either in a single or combination form fall under the price control category.
The price is fixed through after considering all possible costs in packaging, conversion and material costs, as well as the excise duty, by the NPPA.Costs involving packaging and conversion contribute about one-third of the price that consumers pay for medicines.
NPPA carries out the price-fixing exercise as a step to bring in uniformity of cost among all the formulations containing price-controlled drugs across the country.
NPPA give a free reign for those drug which do not come under price-control, allowing them to increase the price by up to 10% annually.
Now, the companies are planning to approach the ministry with report seeking an upward revision of prices fixed by NPPA for these drugs, according to industry sources.
The production cost of the drugs have increased by at least 25% over the years. So the price-ceilings imposed several years ago will be totally unrealistic now, they argue.
The companies have been asked to submit the report by the first week of June. The government is expected to take a decision on it by July.
7. VITAMIN C
13. VITAMIN A
25. METAMIZOL (ANALGIN)
31. VITAMIN B1 (THIAMINE)
33. VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)
37. VITAMIN E
38. NALIDIXIC ACID
42. HALOGENATED HYDROXYQUINOLINE
50. PANTHONATES & PANTHENOLS
62. PHENIRAMINE MALEATE
70. PHENYL BUTAZONE