Finmin pulls rug from under mkt-based drug price model
North Block wants all combination drugs using one or more ingredients and all strengths of essential medicines and bulk drugs included in the price net. It also favours continuing the cost-based formula to fix essential drug prices. Since health is a state subject, the ministry also wants discussions with state governments before any final decision.
The finance ministry's citing of health as a state subject has surprised supporters of market-based pricing, who say the present Drug Pricing Control Order derives its power from the Essential Commodities Act, which is a central legislation.
After numerous differences, the GoM headed by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had agreed to fix prices of essential drugs based on the weighted average price of all brands with over 1% market share in any therapeutic category. It had also decided to limit coverage of drugs to the 348 items in the NLEM, sparing the combinations and strengths not mentioned in the list.
Excluding active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from price control could lead to cartelisation and raise bulk drug prices, argues a finance ministry note to
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