The drug watchdog, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), is planning to send notices to the state drug controllers against firms that often take out price-controlled active ingredients from their popular formulations but retain the brand name."We cannot approach the companies directly as drug ingredients and approval is not under our mandate. We will send notices to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and state drug controllers who have the authority to look into the quality of medicines," said a senior official at the NPPA. "We are mulling over hiring field staff to collect drug samples from the local medical stores to check if the ingredients have been tweaked without informing us."
These are essentially the cases of misbranding. Many popular pharmaceutical companies often change the percentage of price controlled drugs in formulations to escape price control. “NPPA has informed principal secretaries in the department of health to check and provide the details of medicines. We are already talking to health departments in Lucknow, Tamil Nadu and Chennai on the issue of undue drug pricing.”
According to NPPA’s estimates, drug firms, both Indian and foreign, have changed formulations of more than 300 drugs in the market without changing their brand name, putting loyal brand users at risk of consuming a medicine they did not intend to buy.