Indian Govt Reviews Prices of Essential Medicines, May Slash Prices

27 Jan, 2022 12:43 IST|Sakshi Post

The Narendra Modi government aims to evaluate the national list of essential medicines (NLEM) on the basis of market sales, which could result in lower prices for popular and high-demand anti-diabetic and anti-bacterial drugs. The government is considering putting high-priced and commonly used medicines underprice restriction, such as the anti-diabetic drug sitagliptin, the widely used anti-bacterial injectable meropenem, and the antibiotic cefpodoxime.

The health ministry has asked the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), the department in charge of the central government's Jan Aushadhi Kendras – to send data on sales of at least 12 molecules over the last three years. These two compounds are from popular drug classes include cardiac, anti-diabetic, antibiotic, anti-fungal, and gastric.

NPPA which is a watchdog for the drug prices, oversees the price regulation. It is now overseeing the process of setting a price ceiling for critical medicines. The goal of the government's move is to bring pharmaceuticals with high demand under price control, causing customers to spend more of their personal disposable income.

Some NLEM compounds, such as the antifungal drug griseofulvin, the hypertension treatment diltiazem, and the antibacterial medicines cefadroxil and cefazolin, are no longer given by doctors. In that case, these drugs may be substituted by high-volume, high-priced goods.

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