New Delhi: The Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers Shri. D.V. Sadananda Gowda informed the Lok Sabha in written reply today that NPPA is monitoring the situation regularly to ensure that ceiling prices of essential medicines are not breached and are available uninterruptedly. The Minister further informed that National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has not received any reference regarding sudden increase in the price of paracetamol by 40 per cent and azithromycin by 70 per cent in the country. The All Indian Origin Chemists & Distributors Ltd. – Advanced Working, Action & Correction System (AIOCD AWACS) has reported increase in drug prices for month ending February, 2020 at 0.6 %.
He added that NPPA has issued D.O. dated 20.02.2020 to Chief Secretaries of all the States /UTs to monitor the production and availability of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API)s and their formulations to prevent black marketing and hoarding and to ensure price compliance as per the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013) under intimation to the NPPA.
In reply to another question Shri. Gowda stated that National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) monitors the prices of medicines on a regular basis to check overcharging by pharmaceutical companies. Whenever any company is found to be overcharging consumers for a medicine above the ceiling price notified by the NPPA, the NPPA issues a notice to such company to deposit the overcharged amount along with applicable interest under section 7A of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
Minister also said that NPPA examines and considers the reply of the companies, if given, before issuing notices. The NPPA does not maintain state-wise record of overcharging by pharmaceutical companies. However, company wise detailed list of overcharging cases, where demand notices have been issued is available on the NPPA’s website www.nppaindia.nic.in.