Commerce ministry locks horns with pharma dept over patented medicines
“The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy is restricted to generics alone and does not cover patented medicines. The department of pharmaceuticals had set up a committee on price negotiations of patented medicines and there has been no substantial outcome on the committee,” the commerce ministry said in a note to the group of ministers on pharma pricing policy. The ministry added that this (having no outcome from the committee) was a serious matter, adding that many of the life saving medicines, especially those for cancer, liver, hepatitis, were patented. It cited the recent grant of compulsory licence to Natco pharma for liver and kidney cancer to bring home the point that big price differential existed between patented and generic medicines.
This comes at a time when a few days back, a parliamentary standing committee on health has also asked the department of pharma to develop and implement a suitable mechanism to manage the price of imported drugs within next six months.
"The committee feels that the issue at hand is too urgent to be left open-ended and, therefore, recommends that department of pharma to resolve this issue within a period of six months. The committee would also like the department to put in place
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