Govt plans to remove price cap on medicines costing less than Rs 5 per dose: Report

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New Delhi: Medicines costing less than Rs 5 per dose may be removed from price control, allowing manufacturers to raise the prices of these drugs, Business Standard has reported.

The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) is being updated, sources in the industry and government told the publication on Monday.

If this goes through, drugmakers will have the liberty to raise the prices of these drugs by up to 10 per cent every year. The Standing National Committee on Medicine (SNCM), which is updating the 2015 list, is likely to meet today, November 4, to have a stakeholders’ meeting.

“There is enough competition in the market to keep the prices of these drugs under check,” the managing director of a pharmaceutical firm told the newspaper.

The industry has been pushing for this measure for almost a year, the report said. Several meeting between the government and industry stakeholders have been held since June.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) sets the price of NLEM drugs. Around 375 drugs, including medical devices such as stents, were included in the NLEM 2015.

The SNCM has also asked the industry for feedback on cancer drugs, penicillin preparations, cardiology medicines and anti-microbial resistance, the report said.

Prices of some cancer, diabetes and cardiac medicines could be lowered, the report said.