NPPA fixes ceiling prices of 814 scheduled formulations
New maximum prices for 814 programmed formulations were made effective with the NPPA drug price regulator setting the limit in sync with the new GST regime. These formulations include drugs used to treat cancer, HIV, diabetes and infections, among others.
In a notification, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said that the fixation, price revision of 814 programmed formulations was done under Annex-I under the Drug Amendment Order (Price Control ), 2016 under DPCO, 2013. Ananth Kumar, Union Minister for Substances and Fertilizers, had said that the NPPA will develop a mechanism to ensure that patients do not pay more for drugs whose prices are expected to rise after GST implementation.
NPPA has already said that prices of about 78 percent of "actively used" medicines will not be affected after the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which came into effect. "The price of medicines where a partial increase is expected due to the deployment of GST will not be passed on to consumers, as NPPA is developing a mechanism in this regard," said Kumar. In addition, he stated that NPPA is developing a mechanism "to subsume the partial increase of the retail prices of some medicines".
Kumar reiterated that "prices of life saving drugs and essential drugs rates will come down with reduction in GST rate".
The regulator had previously indicated that the prices of most essential drugs would increase by 2.29 percent when the GST regime starts. The government has set the 12 percent rate on most of the essential drugs compared to the previous tax incidence of about 9 percent.