press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has extended the price caps to 52 drugs deemed essential by the government, including painkillers and antibiotics, in its latest move to improve the affordability of medicines.
The additional drugs join a list of nearly 400 essential treatments under price control.In a notice issued in September, the NPPA had fixed the prices of 36 drugs, including those to treat infections and diabetes.
The wide-ranging price cuts have hit both local and foreign drugmakers and have been opposed by many industry officials, who have said drug prices in the country were already among the lowest in the world.
In the latest pricing move, the drugs added include commonly-used antibiotics and painkillers as well as medicines used to treat cancer and skin disorders, a notice on the NPPA website said.
The price caps on some of these drugs only apply to specific companies, it added.
Companies, including Lupin, Cadila Healthcare and Merck, the Indian arm of Germany’s Merck KGaA, are among those selling drugs mentioned in the latest notice, the authority said.
Cadila and Lupin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Merck was not immediately reachable.
NPPA Deputy Director Naresh Arya said the regulator continued to look at other disease areas where the prices of drugs might need to be fixed. The domestic pharmaceutical industry bodies filed two separate lawsuits against the NPPA in July over its notice to cap the prices of 108 drugs that were not on the national list of essential medicines.