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Sen panel for de-branding of essential drugs

Price ceiling on 314 drugs, single regulatory authority suggested

NEW DELHI: Sticking to its recommendations of de-branding essential drugs and a single regulatory authority for drug pricing, the Pronab Sen Task Force on Tuesday submitted its final report to Chemical and Fertilisers Minister Ramvilas Paswan, suggesting price ceiling for 314 essential drugs.

"The report recommends price ceiling for 314 medicines that fall under the essential drugs. It would be worked out on the weighted average of top three brands of a drug by value as on April 1,'' Task Force Chairman Pronab Sen told reporters while submitting the report here.

Out of 354 drugs recommended in its draft report submitted last month, the committee now proposed to bring 314 drugs under the price ceiling as 40 items were normally procured only by hospitals, he said.

The price regulation should be done on the formulations and not on the bulk drugs, he said.

Mr. Sen, however, said two regulatory bodies for monitoring quality and price had been recommended till the proposed system of a single regulatory authority under the name of 'National Authority on Drugs and Therapeutics' (NADT) takes shape.

States would also follow the system of two regulatory bodies for quality and pricing until the proposed National Drug Authority came into force, Mr. Sen said.

In case of 10 per cent hike per year in the price of any essential drug, the regulatory bodies should call the company and negotiate price fixing.

Companies should however be free to hike drug prices on account of inflation.

The Minister said the Government would buy drugs directly from the manufacturers at 50 per cent of the market price and supply them free to people living below the poverty line. — PTI

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