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India caps prices of 530 essential drugs Posted 15/04/2016

India has increased the number of drugs it considers ‘essential’ and therefore for which it controls the maximum retail price in the country.

India has increased the number of drugs it considers ‘essential’ and therefore for which it controls the maximum retail price in the country.

The Indian Government, via the introduction of a new Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) in May 2013, now regulates the prices of at least 800 ‘essential drugs’ included in the country’s National List of Essential Medicines [1]. Drugs on the list include those used in the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular diseases and Hepatitis C.

The DPCO 2013, which affects both brand-name and generic drugs, replaced the previous 1995 Order, which was based on production costs for drugs and regulated the prices of just 74 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and their finished formulations. The new DPCO on the other hand uses a market price-linked cap for each drug [1].

On 4 March 2016, drug price regulator the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixed the price ceiling of 530 essential medicines resulting in the price reduction of 40% for 126 drugs. These prices will become effective from 1 April 2016 under the DPCO 2013.

To control the high prices of medical devices such as stents and implants, the Department of Pharmaceuticals has also proposed to the Indian Health Ministry to bring them under the DPCO.

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Reference
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. India introduces new drug pricing control [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2016 Apr 15]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Policies-Legislation/India-introduces-new-drug-pricing-control

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Source: Economic Times India, IBT, NPPA

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