Drugs Pricing Body To Ensure Availability Of Essential Medicines At Affordable Rates
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority is monitoring the situation to ensure that essential medicines are available across the country at the ceiling prices fixed by the government, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
In a written reply, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda said: "NPPA is monitoring the situation regularly to ensure that ceiling prices of essential medicines are not breached and are available uninterruptedly."
The regulator has not received any reference regarding the sudden increase in the price of paracetamol by 40 percent and azithromycin by 70 percent in the country, he added.
The NPPA in February wrote to chief secretaries of all the states/union territories to monitor the production and availability of active pharmaceutical ingredients and their formulations to prevent black marketing and hoarding and to ensure price compliance as per the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013), Gowda said.
In reply to another question, Gowda said, "NPPA monitors the prices of medicines on a regular basis to check overcharging by pharmaceutical companies."
Whenever any company is found to be overcharging consumers for a medicine above the ceiling price notified by the NPPA, the regulator issues a notice to such company to deposit the overcharged amount along with applicable interest under section 7A of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, he added.