New Delhi: Prices of 42 essential medicines used in treatment of various ailments including tuberculosis, cancer, cardiac diseases, asthma, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis and depression have been capped by the government, reducing their cost by up to 15 percent.
Drug price regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in a notification on its website said it has "has fixed/revised ceiling prices of 45 scheduled formulations of Schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order, 2016."
"Out of the 45, the prices of 42 medicines have been reduced by up to 15 percent," a official source said.
NPPA said manufacturers not complying with the ceiling price would be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest thereon under the provisions of the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013.
The authority has also fixed the retail price of 12 formulations under DPCO, 2013.
In another notification, NPPA said it has also "fixed/ revised ceiling prices of 32 scheduled formulations packs of IV Fluids".
"In the IV fluids the existing unit volume-based pricing system has been done away with. Ceiling prices of these formulations have been re-fixed under modified categories such as glass, non-glass and separate ceiling prices for specific manufacturers of non-glass with special features," NPPA added.
The government fixes the prices of essential drugs based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more than 1 percent.
Companies are allowed to hike prices of such drugs by up to 10 percent 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.
Set up in 1997, NPPA has been 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.