Govt says no major impact on prices of essential drugs post GST

Government ensuring essential drugs are available to public at reduced prices, mentioned the union MOS-Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mr Mansukh L. Mandaviya

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New Delhi: The Government has analyzed the impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on prices of the formulations and it is noticed that there will be almost no impact on the prices of non-scheduled formulations which account for nearly 80 percent of the total pharmaceuticals sector. This was stated by the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mr Mansukh L. Mandaviya, in the Parliament recently.

Mr Mandaviya further mentioned that in case of scheduled formulations, there is no impact on the prices of about 4 percent formulations, which mainly include formulations related to immunization program, anti-cancer, oral rehydration salts, contraceptives etc. In most of the remaining formulations, which account for nearly 16 percent of the total pharmaceutical sector, there is an increase in the prices to the extent of nearly 2.30 percent, the Minister informed.

The Government has fixed the ceiling prices of 851 formulations/ (packs) included in Revised Schedule – I of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013). The details have been uploaded to National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)’s website

Describing the measures taken to prevent overcharging of medicines, Mr Mandaviya stated that NPPA is effectively monitoring the prices of scheduled as well as non-scheduled medicines under DPCO, 2013 so that these formulations are available to public at ceiling prices notified and increase in price is limited to the provisions of DPCO, 2013.

NPPA takes action against companies found overcharging the consumers based on the references received from the State Drugs Controllers/ individuals, samples purchased from the open market, reports from market-based data and complaints reported through the grievance redressal websites – ‘Pharma Jan Samadhan’ and ‘Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS)’. The monitoring of increase in the price of formulations beyond the permissible limit is also done on the basis of market data submitted by All Indian Origin Chemists & Distributors Limited (AIOCD) (Pharma Trac Data) and individual complaints received, the Minister added.

Further, the production and availability of medicines is also regularly monitored by the NPPA mainly through Drugs Control Administration of State Governments. Whenever shortage is reported by the State Drug Controllers or when the matter comes to the notice of NPPA, remedial steps are taken for ensuring availability of drugs by impressing upon manufacturers to rush the stocks to the places of shortage, Mr Mandaviya informed.