Economic Survey 2020-21: NPPA undertook measures to ensure availability of essential drugs during pandemic

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January 29, 2021 6:10 PM

Timely intervention by NPPA eased the situation of medical oxygen availability throughout the country, especially in distant and far-flung areas.

The regulator invoked extraordinary powers in public interest to ensure that policy enhances access to life saving drugs like Heparin as well as medical oxygen, it added. The regulator invoked extraordinary powers in public interest to ensure that policy enhances access to life saving drugs like Heparin as well as medical oxygen, it added.

Economic Survey of India: Drug pricing regulator NPPA undertook necessary steps to ensure availability of life saving essential medicines across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Economic Survey said on Friday.

Drug prices in India are regulated to ensure continued availability and affordability of essential medicines with improved access to consumers, it added.

“National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)… has played an active role in addressing the exigencies arising out of COVID-19 pandemic and undertook necessary measures to ensure continued availability of life saving essential medicines throughout the country,” the survey said.

The regulator invoked extraordinary powers in public interest to ensure that policy enhances access to life saving drugs like Heparin as well as medical oxygen, it added.

Timely intervention by NPPA eased the situation of medical oxygen availability throughout the country, especially in distant and far-flung areas.

The survey said NPPA also ensured availability of N95 masks at affordable prices and directed manufacturers/ importers/ suppliers to maintain parity in prices for non-government procurements.

On one hand, “NPPA fine-tuned its interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic to strike at profiteering tendencies by manufacturers/marketers in public interest. At the same time it also ensured enabling ecosystem for the industry to augment production of quality benchmarked medical devices for domestic use and exports,” it added.

During the pandemic period, the government constituted an Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee to make recommendation for the export of drugs/ items requested by foreign governments, especially drugs like hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol.

Based on the recommendations of this committee, “Department of Pharmaceuticals/NPPA issued recommendation/orders which enabled the MEA/DGFT to fulfill various export commitments towards 114 countries in respect of HCQ and 24 countries in respect of paracetamol, including SAARC Nations,” the survey said.

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