India’s drug price regulator raises drug price ceiling in India

By Meghna Misra-Elder

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), India’s drug price regulator, has increased the ceiling prices of 21 formulations by 50 per cent.

Leading UK pharma companies like GSK, Astra Zeneca, and Reckitt Benckiser received some good news when the government, arguably for the first time, invoked para 19 provisions of the Drug Prices Control Order, 2013 for an upward revision in drug prices.

This is an area that the UKIBC, along with various other industry bodies, has been advocating for following the launch of our report ‘Drug Pricing in India: Regulation to foster innovation, accessibility and affordability‘.

Industry watchers, however, say that it may lead to some pharma players opting more for medicines not falling under the drug price control regime than an upward revision. They feel that this move, although welcome, is a “limited positive” since the announcement does not indicate if more products will be considered for the price hike in due course.

While a 50 per cent jump, in an absolute term, seems big, it is not much if compared against the rise in the manufacturing cost.

UKIBC welcomes this announcement and believes that this is a step in the right direction as it indicates that the government is being receptive to the needs of the pharma industry.

Managing Director, Kevin McCole, said: “The UKIBC has long made the point that drug pricing requires a careful balancing act. If the price is too low, innovation will be discouraged and reduce the availability of important medicines. This announcement by the NPPA is therefore a step in the right direction, one which will benefit the Indian healthcare system and those that depend on it”.

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