Exclude cheap drugs from price control: IPA
Published on 25 February, 2022 / Published by The Economic Times

Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), the lobby group that represents large domestic pharmaceutical companies, said it wants the government to extend the 10% annual hike to scheduled formulations under price control and not to cap prices of medicines below ₹5.

"We expect pricing policy should come anytime," Sudarshan Jain, secretary general of IPA, said in an interview to ET.

"We are not against price controls; what we are saying is that the government should exclude low-priced scheduled products from price control or allow at least 10% annual hike as it is done for non-scheduled formulations," Jain said.

Less than ₹5 per tablet, why should they control the pricing," Jain added. Jain said that the prices of medicines in India are the lowest, and the intense competition will take care of prices.

He cited examples of Covid antivirals remdesivir and molnupirivir, whose prices have dropped sharply.

Jain said manufacturers of scheduled medicines are incurring losses, due to rising volatility of raw material prices and lack of flexibility to raise prices.

"The government doesn't allow them to exit the loss-making products. The manufacturers are either pushed to cut back on supplies or sell these products to other companies," Jain said.

"The thrust of the policy should be on ensuring quality and adequate supplies of these essential medicines," Jain added. At present, around 374 medicines are part of the National List of Essential Medicines which are subject to price controls.

This article was originally published on The Economic Times