Focus: GS II- Government Policies and Intervention, Health
Why in News?
Recently, the drug price regulator, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), fixed the ceiling price of 18 formulations, and the retail price of 23 new drugs by bringing them under price control.
About National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority
- NPPA is an organization under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers which was set up in 1997 to revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 1995.
- The prices are now fixed/revised under Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013.
- It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.
Functions of NPPA:
- To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 1995/2013 in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
- To undertake and/or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/formulations.
- To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
- To collect/maintain data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc. for bulk drugs and formulations.
- To deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the Authority.
- To render advice to the Central Government on changes/revisions in the drug policy.
- To render assistance to the Central Government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing.
Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO)
- The Drugs Prices Control Order, 1995 is an order issued by the Government of India under Sec. 3 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to regulate the prices of drugs.
- The Order inter alia provides the list of price controlled drugs, procedures for fixation of prices of drugs, method of implementation of prices fixed by Govt., penalties for contravention of provisions etc.
- For the purpose of implementing provisions of DPCO, powers of Government have been vested in NPPA.