HYDERABAD: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) submitted to the High Court that the prices of drugs for treatment of Covid-19 and black fungus infection were under a price ceiling and therefore the manufacturers cannot not hike prices as per their will. It submitted that the manufacturing of drugs for black fungus and Covid has been ramped up to the highest level.
The NPPA said the price of drug used for treatment of black fungus - amphotericin-B (Liposomal) is fixed at Rs 7,484 per 50 grams, excluding GST. Amphotericin B in its powdered form is fixed at Rs 310 per 50 grams.
Rajesh Kumar T, deputy director of the NPPA, filed a memo before the High Court and said the Authority and the department of pharmaceuticals of the Union ministry for chemical and fertilisers were monitoring management of supply of medicines during the peak pandemic period.
The memo was filed on the directions of the division bench of the Telangana High Court.
On May 17, the bench headed by Chief Justice Hima Kohli had issued notices to the NPPA and sought to know its contentions, as there was a shortfall of life-saving drugs for Covid-19 in Telangana state.
The NPPA director submitted that the ceiling prices of all scheduled formulation medicines were normally fixed by it as per the provisions of Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013. For non-scheduled formulation medicines, the manufacturers have the liberty to fix the prices provided there should not be an increase more than 10 per cent per year.
Favipiravir, remdesivir and others fall under non-scheduled medicines, and their maximum price was Rs 5,400 per vial. With the Intervention of the government, it was reduced to Rs 3,500, Rajesh Kumar submitted.