103 drug formulation packs cheaper

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: April 1, 2016  | 11:37 IST
103 drug formulation packs cheaper
Photo: Reuters

As many as 103 drug formulation packs, including those used for treating bacterial infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, epilepsy, Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, have become cheaper with the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixing their ceiling prices.

The new prices will be effective from Friday, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said in a notification on its website. NPPA has fixed ceiling prices of 103 scheduled formulations on the basis of wholesale price index (WPI) for the preceding calendar year 2015, effective from April, 1 2016, the notification said.

With NPPA's move, some key drugs such as Tenofovir, Lamivudine, Raltegravir, used for treatment of HIV/AIDS and Sofosbuvir, which is used against Hepatitis C, will become cheaper. For instance, a tablet of combination drugs Tenofovir 300mg, Lamivudine 300mg and Efavirenz 600mg will now cost Rs 91.71 down from Rs 94.27 earlier. Likewise, the ceiling price of a Raltegravir 400 mg tablet has been fixed at Rs 139.25, down from Rs 143.13 earlier. The price of Hepatitis B drug Sofosbuvir-400mg has been fixed at Rs  619.31, down from Rs 636.56 previously.

Cardiovascular disease drug Atorvastatin-40 mg will now be available at Rs 17.91 per tablet as against Rs 18.41 earlier. Besides, NPPA also fixed the retail price of two formulations-Hyoscine Butylbromide + Paracetamol Tablet and Methyldopa Tablet, under DPCO, 2013.

Currently, the government caps prices of essential drugs based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than one per cent.

Besides, the government regulates prices of all other medicines and companies are allowed to hike prices of such drugs by only up to 10 per cent in a year. The government had notified DPCO, 2013, which covers 680 formulations, with effect from May 15, 2014, replacing the 1995 order that regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs. NPPA is entrusted with the task of fixation/revision of prices of pharma products, enforcement of provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order and monitoring of prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.

(In association with Mail Today Bureau)

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