Hyderabad: The benefit of price reductions worth Rs 1500 crore for 18,000 formulations announced by the Union health ministry has not been passed on to the public as pharmaceutical companies have not given the revised price list to chemists.
There were seven notifications issued by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority in which the wholesale prices of medicines were revised. Mr J.S. Shinde, President, All India Organization of Chemists and Druggist (AIOCD), said, “The notifications have a minimum of 25 medicines and a maximum of 100 medicines on the list. This in turn affects a range of formulations which are not known to chemists. It is for the manufacturers to send the revised list but so far they have not sent a single list showing price revision.”
The chemists are angry as they are getting sandwiched between drug controllers and manufacturers. General Secretary of AIOCD, S Gupta explained, “NPPA is continuously urging downward revision of prices. This can be done only by the manufacturers. Their failure is being questioned and we are being punished which is not justified.” The drug controllers are booking chemists for selling medicines at higher prices and not at the revised prices.
AIOCD has requested NPPA to give 120 days’ time to the manufacturers to pass on the list to the chemists. The government has also banned 344 drugs which affect 12,000 formulations but so far no information has been given to them by manufacturers.
The total market for these medicines is Rs 800 crore. Mr R. Gupta, President, AP Chemists and Druggist Association said, “Some manufacturers have secured stays. They have not communicated this to chemists. Due to this there is confusion in the market. It has become very difficult to dispense drugs.”
Many still selling drugs via internet
A 100 firms, issued license for online sales of medicines, continue to do so despite an order from the Mumbai HC declaring it illegal.
All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggist pointed out that rule #1945 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act says that medicines can’t be sold on the Internet.
A senior member said, “Despite the HC orders sleeping pills and MPT kits are being sold directly. There is no effective mechanism to control it.”...