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NPPA revises drug prices; 62 turn costlier, 14 cheaper

The pharmaceutical pricing authority said raw material costs and revision in the norms of conversion cost justified the hike. Majority of these drugs treat diabetics.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: March 17, 2011  | 10:56 IST

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Thursday said it has increased prices of 62 drugs, which are mainly based on indigenously manufactured insulin, giving a filip to domestic firms.

The drug price regulator has also reduced prices of 14 drugs, while that of 21 drugs remained unchanged in its latest review meeting held last week. The majority of the drugs, whose prices have been increased are used in treatment of diabetes and tuberclosis.

"We have to do a balancing act and provide a level playing field to the indigenous manufacturers who account for nearly 10 per cent of the total domestic market for insulin," NPPA Chairman S M Jharwal said.

He, however, asserted that despite the price increase, the drugs from these firms would still remain affordable.

"Although the prices of the indigenously manufactured insulin-based formulations has been increased in range of 5-18 per cent, they would still be lower by nearly 15 per cent than the formulations based on the imported bulk insulin drug," Jharwal said.

At present, Biocon and Wockhardt are the only two domestic companies which manufacture insulin bulk drug indigenously.

The NPPA's review meeting, which considered prices for 19 drugs for the first time, reviewed prices of drugs used in treatment of diabetes, allergy, malaria, diarrhea, asthma and hyper tension along with antiseptics.

Justifying the increase in prices, NPPA said raw material cost and revision in the norms of conversion cost, packing charges and packaging materials as notified on December 16 last year necessitated the move.

The companies which would be affected by the price revision of drugs include Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, GSK, Biocon, Wockhardt, Lupin and Cipla, the authority said.

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