Medicines set to be cheaper, pharma price policy finalized

Prices of 652 commonly used medicines in 27 therapeutic areas are likely to come down by 10-15% once the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy 2012 is notified, which is expected in a few days. The policy, which caps prices of essential drugs, was finalized recently after several twists and turns over the years. 

    It will cover a wide range of drugs, such as anti-infectives (Cetrizine), cardiac (Aten) and gastro-intestinal medi
cines (Ocid), pain-killers (Paracetamol) and anti-diabetic drugs (insulin). 

    Imported medicines which are part of the essential drugs list will, for the first time, come under the policy purview and face regulatory control. For example, prices of insulin, which companies like Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk import into the country, will now be capped. 

New policy to cover 30% of pharma mkt 
    Besides, in a bid to promote indigenous research, prices of original research products having a patent in India (new molecules also called new chemical entities) will be exempt from price control for five years, sources said. 

    PG Times accessed salient features of the NPPP 2012 — before its final notification — which will cover about 30% of the over Rs 67,000 crore domestic pharmaceutical market, under which prices of drugs will be capped. The ceiling price will be computed using “the simple average method” of all drugs with over 1% market share under a particular therapeutic area. 

    The next hurdle of sorts for NPPP 2012 will be the Supreme Court, which will hear an ongoing case on December 12, filed by a public health group AIDAN to bring down prices of essential drugs. It remains to be seen what the court feels about the policy.

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