Government has extended price caps to an additional 39 drugs ranging from commonly used diabetes treatments to antibiotics, in its latest effort to improve the affordability of medicines.
Wide-ranging price cuts over the past year have hit several drugmakers in India and have been opposed by many in the industry, who say drug prices in the country are already among the lowest in the world. The new drugs join a price control list that covers more than 500 drugs.
The latest move will include medicines made by foreign drugmakers such as Abbott Laboratories and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, as well as domestic firms such as Lupin Ltd, Cadila Healthcare Ltd and Ipca Ltd.
The move comes after a parliamentary committee said in April that the scope of price control needed to be enlarged even further. In India, the majority of people live on less than $2 a day and health insurance is scarce.
But a study conducted by healthcare research firm IMS and sponsored by the main business association of multinational drugmakers operating in India argues that price controls are not an effective strategy to improve healthcare access for Indian patients.
Price caps benefit high-income patients rather than the low-income patients and put pressure on profit margins for small and mid-sized companies, said the study, which was released on Tuesday.