The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine the new national pharmaceutical pricing policy framed by the government for fixing prices of essential medicines in the country.
A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi asked the Centre to file its response on a petition challenging the policy and raised questions on prices of medicines fixed by government.
"Margin of profit for manufacturers and dealers has become 10% to 1300% of the cost of manufacture of the drug," the bench said after going through a data provided by the petitioner in the PIL.
The bench also pulled up the Centre for dilly dallying on the issue of price fixation for the last 10 years and saying that nothing has been done by the Centre despite various committees including parliamentary committee deliberating on the issue.
The assessment was done by the petitioner after analysing the market price, price fixed by government and the cost of production of drug.
While hearing another case, the court had earlier also slammed the government for not controlling the price of such drugs during the last 18 years.
The court had made it clear to the Centre that it should not form a pharma policy which may cause increase in the price of essential drugs.
The court had said drugs prescribed by the doctors were going beyond the reach of common man and "any formula for price fixation which goes against common man should be quashed".
The bench had pulled up the government for not taking any decision on bringing more drugs under the price control after 1999 and during the pendency of case before it for the last 10 years.