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Govt withdraws power of regulator to fix non-essential medicines prices

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New Delhi: Drug price regulator NPPA has withdrawn its order to fix prices of drugs which are not under the list of essential medicines, a move that has been welcomed by the pharmaceutical industry.
The NPPA had late last evening issued a statement saying it has withdrawn guidelines for price control issued under Para 19 of the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013.
The Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, authorises the NPPA to control the prices drugs that are not under the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines) under extraordinary circumstances in public interest.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had invoked Para 19 of the DPCO to cap prices of 108 medicines, including cardiac, diabetes and HIV/AIDS drugs, last month.
“In compliance with the directions received from the government in the Department of Pharmaceuticals…The aforesaid internal guidelines issued by the NPPA on May 29, 2014 under Paragraph 19 of DPCO 2013 are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect,” NPPA said in a statement.
Reacting to the development, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) Secretary General D G Shah said: “It confirms the industry position that Para 19 is not the correct instrument for modification of DPCO 2013.”
Several industry bodies, including Indian Pharma Alliance (IPA), had criticised the NPPA’s move to cap prices of medicines not under NLEM.
Under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013, the Government already controls the prices of 348 drugs listed in the NLEM.

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