Pharma Inc Plans Le­gal Ac­tion Against NPPA on Price Cuts

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Prabha.Ragha­van@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The In­dian govern­ment and the drug in­dus­try are headed for yet an­other col­li­sion course af­ter the ac­ri­mo­nious le­gal tus­sle over the ap­proval of hun­dreds of drugs based on fixed dose com­bi­na­tions.

In­dian drug com­pa­nies may seek le­gal in­ter­ven­tion against the re­cent de­ci­sion of the Na­tional Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Pric­ing Au­thor­ity (NPPA) to cut prices of medicines that were al­ready sold be­low the min­i­mum bar set by the pric­ing watch­dog.

The In­dian Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Al­liance filed a re­view pe­ti­tion with the De­part­ment of Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals (DoP) fol­low­ing a March 2 no­ti­fi­ca­tion by NPPA, said DG Shah, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the lobby group that rep­re­sents In­dia’s 20 top drug mak­ers.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion, which fixed or re­vised prices of 530 sched­uled for­mu­la­tion packs as per the Whole­sale Price In­dex ef­fec­tive April 1, had sta- ted that the prices of for­mu­la­tions that were al­ready lower than the ceil­ing price would have to be re­duced by 2.71%, Shah said. There is no such pro­vi­sion for the NPPA to force com­pa­nies, which are sell­ing be­low the ceil­ing price, to fur­ther re­duce prices, Shah claimed.

Around 5,000 small and medium en­ter­prises al­ready sell their for­mu­la­tions be­low the re­vised ceil­ing price for as low as .₹ 2 to .₹ 3, said Shah. NPPA has taken cer­tain ac­tions which are un­law­ful and ar­bi­trary, he said, adding: the DoP has not yet re­sponded to the re­view pe­ti­tion.

“If we do not get proper hear­ing and the or­ders passed by NPPA are not amended, we’ll be left with no choice but to seek rem­edy else­where,” he said. This could in­clude ap­proach­ing the court as a last re­sort, he added.

NPPA said the prices of for­mu­la­tions that were al­ready lower than the ceil­ing price would have to be re­duced by 2.71%, the com­pa­nies have claimed

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