Prelims level : Economy Mains level : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
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In News:

  • The government said it had brought 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control, capping trade margin at 30%, which would reduce their retail prices by up to 85%.


  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has invoked extraordinary powers in public interest, under Para 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 to bring 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control through trade margin rationalization. Invoking paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, the government hereby puts a cap on trade margin of 30% and directs manufacturers to fix their retail price based on price at first point of sale of product of the non-scheduled formulations containing any of the 42 drugs.
  • As per data available with NPPA, the MRP for 105 brands will be reduced up to 85%, entailing minimum savings of Rs. 105 crore to consumers, it added. Currently, 57 anti-cancer drugs are under price control as scheduled formulations. Now, 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer medicines have been selected for price regulation by restricting trade margin on the selling price (MRP) up to 30%
  • These would cover 72 formulations and 355 brands as per data available with NPPA. More data is being collected from hospitals and manufacturers to finalize the list.
  • The drug manufacturers have been given seven days to recalculate the prices and inform the NPPA, state drug controllers, stockists and retailers, it said. The revised prices shall come into effect from March, 8.
  • Non-scheduled drugs are allowed an increase of up to 10% in prices every year, which is monitored by the NPPA.
  • The NPPA currently fixes prices of drugs placed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) under Schedule-I of the DPCO. So far, around 1,000 drugs have been brought under price control under the initiative.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA):

  • The organization is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers.
  • It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.
  • NPPA is an organization of the Government of India which was established, inter alia,to fix/ revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order,1995.
  • It comes under the ministry of chemical and fertilizers

Functions of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority:

1. To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
2. To deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the Authority;
3. To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps;
4. To collect/ maintain data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc, for bulk drugs and formulations;
5. To undertake and/ or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/ pharmaceuticals;
6. To recruit/ appoint the officers and other staff members of the Authority, as per rules and procedures laid down by the Government;
7. To render advice to the Central Government on changes/ revisions in the drug policy;
8. To render assistance to the Central Government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing.

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