Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#Diabetes and heart patients can cheer as NPPA cuts their medicine prices

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has cut prices of 108 widely-used expensive anti-diabetic and cardiac medicines by 15% to 35%.
NPPA has fixed prices of those medicines which are not listed under the national list of essential medicines (NLEM). Prices of 652 drugs under NLEM were fixed by the government last year under DPCO 2013.
The drugs that will become cheaper include Gliclazide, Glimepiride, Sitagliptin, Voglibose, Amlodipine, Telmisartan and Rosuvastatin, Heparin and Ramipril.

The NPPA has pointed to the exploitative pricing by the industry and put cap of maximum 25% profit margin for these drug manufacturing companies.
The notification to fix prices of these medicines, which are non-scheduled formulations, was issued on July 10: "...wherever the maximum retail price (MRP) of the brand of a particular formulation exceeds 25% of the simple average price, the same will be capped at the 25% level".

The move is aimed at making medicines more affordable in a country where 70 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. More than four-fifths of India's 1.2 billion also have no health insurance.
NPPA has also acted on drugs where there is a huge inter-brand price difference in branded-generics/off-patent drugs. if the price of a drug brand exceeds the simple average price in that therapy group by 25%, or the price at which a new drug is launched for the first time is higher than the most expensive brand existing in the group, NPPA would initiate the process of fixing a price cap.

The biggest impact will be felt by multinational companies like Sanofi (Rs 139 crore loss of sales as per one estimate).
"While we appreciate the government's intent to improve affordability but the manner and method in which this unilateral decision has been taken, is untenable," Sanofi India's Managing Director Shailesh Ayyangar said on Monday.
Other than Sanofi, Ranbaxy, Zydus Cadila, Emcure are also likely to be affected by this retail price fixing mechanism of NPPA