Affordable Medicines: Govt launches ‘Pharma Sahi Daam’ Mobile App

As per Mr Ananth Kumar, the amendments will be made soon to empower NPPA in gathering data and taking appropriate decisions for the drugs included in the NLEM but market data is not available

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The Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Ananth Kumar addressing at the NPPA Foundation Day Celebrations and National Seminar on “Affordable Medicines”, in New Delhi on August 29, 2016.

New Delhi: The Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Ananth Kumar has appealed to the industry leaders, State Governments, other departments and civil society in pooling efforts to make available medicines at affordable prices to the common man. Speaking at a function in New Delhi on the occasion of NPPA Foundation Day today, he said that in the last two and a half years, almost 900 formulations have been brought under the price control, providing a saving of about 5000 crores to the consumers. He said that National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has already come out with ceiling price of 368 new drugs within 6 months of the issue of New National List of Essential Medicines-2015.

The Minister launched a mobile App. developed by NPPA which shows the MRP fixed by NPPA for various scheduled drugs on real time basis. Mr Ananth Kumar said that application will be called “Pharma Sahi Daam”. He also unveiled the logo of NPPA which will be displayed on packing of all scheduled medicines. The Minister said that amendments will be made soon to empower NPPA in gathering data and taking appropriate decisions for the drugs included in the NLEM but market data is not available. Mr Ananth Kumar said that he is pursuing the case for making an independent Ministry for Pharmaceuticals so that all decisions regarding the industry could be taken under a single roof.

The Minister advocated a ‘3A’ approach to achieve health security for every citizen of India. He stressed that Universal Healthcare can be achieved only by ensuring the Availability, Affordability and Accessibility (3A) of medicines to the common man. Mr Ananth Kumar highlighted the need of transparent and efficient discovery of drug prices and regulation of the pharma sector.

Mr Ananth Kumar said that the pharmaceutical industry has risen to almost US$37 billion and Indian medicines are being exported to over 200 countries. Pharmaceutical is a sunrise industry and the Government is keen to provide support to it through various means like pharmaceutical parks, medical devices parks, pharmaceutical clusters and promotion of innovation through Atal Innovation Scheme.

Under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, the Minister said that two pronged strategy is being adopted to provide cheap medicines to the common man- one is through regulating the prices by NPPA and another is opening of PM Jan Aushadhi Stores. He said that within one year, 3000 PM Jan Aushadhi Stores will be opened in the country covering all districts and tehsils. Sh. Ananth Kumar said that most of the medicines in Jan Aushadhi Stores cost 30 to 40 per cent as compared to the market cost and no medicine in Jan Aushadhi Store is more than 50 per cent of the market cost.

Mr Bhupendra Singh, Chairman, NPPA, Mr K B Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. G.N. Singh, Drug Controller General of India, Mr Sudhanshu Pant, Joint Secretary, Department of Pharmaceutical and Dr M Ariz Ahammed, Joint Secretary, Department of Pharmaceutical also spoke on the occasion.