Consumers are overcharged for more than 100 drugs, finds a report
Mumbai city news: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has issued notices to the pharmaceutical companiesmumbai Updated: Jul 19, 2017 23:33 IST
A document released by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) shows that consumers are being overcharged for more than 100 drugs sold on the market.
The government body released the data on its website last month. It shows that several pharmaceutical firms have been overcharging customers for commonly used drugs, such as anti-diabetic and cholesterol lowering tablets.
The NPPA, which puts out this quarterly data on its website, has issued notices to the pharmaceutical companies. The report shows that they overcharged consumers to the tune of Rs36.8 crore for a single drug.
“Pharmaceuticals overcharge in many ways. Companies that manufacture non-scheduled drugs cannot increase the prices more than 10% of the MRP. However, they do so,” said Dr Bhupendra Singh, chairman, NPPA.
“It all depends on the market volume of the drugs. The company may have overpriced a drug by between 50 paisa and Rs10, but when one looks at the cumulative figures, the amount runs into lakhs and crores,” he added.
The ceiling price of the drugs has been fixed by the government under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 13, which makes them affordable to most.
Doctors who have been working to improve the affordability of healthcare said this was yet another example of profiteering by big pharmaceutical companies.
“It is not surprising to see pharma companies overcharging commonly sold medicines,” said a doctor from a health activist group.
In February, the NPPA capped the price of stents in India slashing the cost up to 85%. The price of drug eluting stents was fixed at Rs 29,600, while that of bare metal stents was capped at Rs7,260.