In a major development, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has increased the ceiling price of 21 formulations by 50 percent.
The NPPA invoked paragraph 19 of the Drug Prices Control Order to hike prices of formulations, which until now has been used only to reduce the prices of stents and knee implants.
As per a Moneycontrol report, prices of formulations that have been revised by the government include: Clofazimine for leprosy treatment; the antibiotic Metronidazole; Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C); the antibiotic Co-trimoxazole; anti-allergy drug Pheniramine; the antibiotic Benzyl penicillin; Chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug; Dapsone, an anti-leprosy drug; the anti-hypertensive drug Furosemide, among others.
Most of these drugs are used as first line of treatment and are crucial to the public health programme of the country. Many companies have applied for discontinuation of the product on account of unviability.
“The mandate of NPPA is to ensure availability of drugs at affordable prices. It was noted that while ensuring affordability, access cannot be jeopardized and the life saving essential drugs must remain available to the general public at all times. Therefore, the authority is of the considered view that unviability of these formulations should not lead to a situation, where these drugs become unavailable in the market and the public is forced to switch to costly alternatives,” a statement released from NPPA was quoted saying by the report.