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Chemists cannot charge high rates for cheaper drugs

business Updated: Apr 22, 2016 19:23 IST
Himani Chandna & Timsy Jaipuria, Hindustan Times

A pharma store in Delhi(Mint file photo)

It’s official. Your local pharmacist may no longer be able to charge old rates for medicines whose prices have been reduced by the government.

According to a notification issued by the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) dated April 13, the onus of implementing the revised price has shifted to chemists from companies. Companies now need to only notify new price lists to chemists through company websites, emails and other sources.

Chemists will not be allowed to sell drugs to consumers at a price exceeding the one specified in the latest price list or the price indicated on the label of the packet, whichever is less. In case of non-compliance, chemists will be penalised.

HT reported first on February 26 that the government may make chemists liable to pass on drug price cuts to buyers.

In the earlier regime, the manufacturer had to recall all existing batches of a medicine within 45 days of the price notification, put new stickers and redistribute the packages. “It took Rs 4 crore for a single-time recall and re-labelling. Thankfully, now the companies have option not to recall and re-label the old stocks,” said DG Shah, secretary-general, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance.