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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

After cardiac stents and orthopaedic implants, is it time for medicines price cut?

Patented drugs for cancer are exorbitantly priced in the market, making it unaffordable for many

health Updated: Aug 17, 2017 20:57 IST
Doctor body writes to NPPA to look into cutting prices of expensive medicines
Doctor body writes to NPPA to look into cutting prices of expensive medicines(Shutterstock)

After cardiac stents and knee implants, patented medicines and medical equipment could be next in line for price cut.

Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) had submitted a detailed document regarding the prices of various types of implants and medicines to the chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on June 29, which the body claims resulted in NPPA reducing prices of orthopedic implants on Wednesday.

Several organizations including ADEH, All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) and Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) had been campaigning for price reduction of pharma products since long.

Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilisers, department of pharmaceuticals last year had uploaded a report on their website seeking public comments on the issue of increase in prices of medicines, especially generics.

“Time has come now that the price of medicines and other medical appliances should be streamlined on the pattern of coronary stents and orthopaedic implants,” said ADEH said in a statement.

“We have learnt that the government formed a committee to review the medicine prices which has recommended substantial reduction in prices of medicines… We demand that this report should be made public immediately. The government should formulate a trade policy for the pharmaceutical products,” the statement said.

According to these experts, the closure of pharmaceutical public sector units like IDPL, HAL etc. is a set back because these units produced cheap bulk drugs not only for India but also for other countries.

“Government should strengthen its units if price reduction has to be ultimately made effective.”

On the reports that the benefits of the reduction of stent prices has not reached the end user because the institutions have increase their procedure charges, these experts demanded that a monitoring system should be evolved by the government to check this malpractice.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 20:57 IST

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