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Pharma authority tells chemists to pass on drug price cuts to consumers

Drug price watchdog, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, has pulled up chemists to pass drug price revision to consumers immediately.

business Updated: May 13, 2016 11:32 IST
Himani Chandna
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), has pulled up chemists for not passing on drug price revision to consumers immediately.
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), has pulled up chemists for not passing on drug price revision to consumers immediately. (Shutterstock)

Drug price watchdog, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), has pulled up chemists for not passing on drug price revision to consumers immediately.

As per primary notification issued by the NPPA, in April, the onus of implementing the revised price is shifted from companies to chemists. Companies only need to notify new price lists to chemists via company websites, e-mail, WhatsApp and other sources.

So the regulator has warned chemists against resistance in selling drugs whose prices have not been revised by pharma companies, if the revised price list has been made available to them. “It has been informed to NPPA that some stockists and trade associations are showing resistance in selling the products without re-labelling . The dealers including stock holders and retailers may not return any stocks in case current price list as per revised notified price has been made available,” said NPPA in its notification dated May 10.

The authority in its latest notification has reminded chemists about paragraph 28 of the drug pricing control order (DPCO) 2013, which clearly states that ‘no manufacturer or distributor shall withhold from sale or refuse to sell to a dealer any drug without good or sufficient reason.’ The DPCO also says that ‘no dealer shall withhold from sale or refuse to sell any drug available with him to a customer intending to purchase such drug.’

Last week, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), which represents over 7.5 lakh chemists across India, had opposed the move and had asked the regulator to mandate drug manufacturers to circulate supplementary price lists to the retailers or else call back the stock for price correction. It also warned government over confusion in trade and potential risk of charging wrong price to consumer.

“All manufacturers and retailers shall make sure that prices fixed or notified by the NPPA for the essential medicines are duly implemented and benefit of price is made available to the consumer,” clarifies NPPA in its latest notification.