Government reduces price of 390 Anti-Cancer Non-Scheduled Medicines upto 87 percent

• The maximum retail price (MRP) of 390 non-scheduled cancer medicines have been reduced by up to 87%.

• India’s drug pricing regulator brought 42 non-scheduled cancer drugs under price control capping their trade margin at 30%.

• The move would result in annual savings of around ₹800 crore for patients, the government said.

• The revised prices will come into effect from 8 March 2019.

Key highlights

• The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers has put out the list of 390 anti-cancer non-scheduled medicines, whose MRPs have been cut by up to 87%.

• The ministry wants manufacturers and hospitals to revise the prices based on the trade margin formula.

• A total of 390 brands or 91% of the 426 brands reported by the manufacturers showed downward price movement, the ministry said a statement.

• NPPA currently fixes price of drugs on the National List of Essential Medicines under Schedule I of Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO). So far, about 1,000 drugs have a price cap on them through this mode.

Aim of this government

• According to the government, the price cut is expected to benefit about 22 lakh cancer patients in India and would result in annual savings of around ₹800 crore to the patients.

• The trade margin rationalisation for 42 anti-cancer drugs was rolled out as Proof of Concept, stressing on the new paradigm of self-regulation by the industry.

• The manufacturers of these 42 drugs have been directed not to reduce production volumes of brands under regulation,” the ministry said in the statement.

• Price reduction across brands would vary from 86.79% of MRP to 0%.

• According to the price regulator, five brands will see price reduction of about 70%, while 12 others will see 50-70% price cut. MRPs of 45 cancer medicines will reduce by 25%.

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Mains Paper 2: Health

Prelims level: Drug Price Control Orders

Mains level: Read the newscard

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