Ceiling price of 21 scheduled formulations revised by allowing one-time price increase by 50 percent: Minister
New Delhi: Apprising on the upward price revision of commonly used medicines like antibiotics, anti-allergies, anti-malaria drugs, BCG vaccine, and Vitamin C, the Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers, D V Sadanand Gowda stated that based on the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Affordable Medicines and Health Products (SCAMHP), the ceiling price of shortlisted 21 scheduled formulations of 12 medicines was revised by allowing one-time price increase of up to 50% from the applicable ceiling price in the public interest as an exceptional measure by invoking Para 19 of the DPCO, 2013 on 13th December 2019.
This came while responding to a query raised during the Lok Sabha session by P. Velusamy, who sought whether the Government has any proposal to increase the prices of commonly used medicines like key antibiotics, anti-allergies, anti-malaria drugs, BCG vaccine, and Vitamin C which is being used by the poor people on daily basis.
The NPPA has received applications for upward price revision under Para 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013) citing various reasons like increase in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) cost, increase in the cost of production, exchange rate variation, etc. making the sustainable production and marketing of the drugs unviable, the Minister elaborated.
The detail of price revision is as below:
S. No. Name of the Scheduled FormulationDosage form & Strength Unit Revised Ceiling Price (Rs.)
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
1. BCG vaccine Each Dose 8.75
2. Benzathine benzylpenicillin Powder for Injection 12 lac units each Pack 17.84
3. Benzathine benzylpenicillin Powder for Injection 6 lac units each Pack 11.81
4. Benzylpenicillin Powder for Injection 10 Lac UnitsEach Pack 7.64
5. Chloroquine Tablet 150mg 1 Tablet 1.16
6. Dapsone Tablet 100 mg 1 Tablet 0.35
7. Furosemide Tablet 40 mg 1 Tablet 0.74
8. Furosemide Injection 10mg/ml 1 ml 2.43
9. Metronidazole Oral Liquid 200 mg/5ml 1 ml 0.44
10. Metronidazole Tablet 200 mg 1 Tablet 0.68
11. Metronidazole Tablet 400 mg 1 Tablet 1.25
12. Metronidazole Injection 500mg/100ml 1 ml 0.20
13. Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Tablet 500 mg 1 Tablet 1.34
14. Co-trimoxazole (Sulphamethoxazole (A)+Trimethoprim (B)]Tablet 400 mg(A)+80 mg(B)1 Tablet0.77
15. Co-trimoxazole (Sulphamethoxazole (A)+Trimethoprim (B)]Tablet 800 mg(A)+160 mg(B)1 Tablet1.98
16. Co-trimoxazole (Sulphamethoxazole (A)+Trimethoprim (B)]Oral Liquid 200mg(A)+40mg(B)/5ml1 ml0.32
17. PheniramineInjection 22.75 mg/ml(10ml pack)1 ml1.67
18. PheniramineInjection 22.75 mg/ml (2ml pack)1 ml2.24
19. PrednisoloneDrops 1%1 ml4.92
20. ClofazimineCapsule 50 mg1 Capsule2.13
21. ClofazimineCapsule 100 mg1 Capsule3.63
Velusamy further asked whether the NPPA has informed that the prices are increased by 50% in the interest of the public and the clarification of public interest which necessitated exorbitant price rise at this time of the slowdown of the economy;
Responding to the questions, Gowda stated that the ceiling price of Heparin Injection 5000 IU/ml and 1000IU/ml were also increased by allowing an increase of 50% over the then-applicable ceiling price vide notification dated 30th June 2020. The revised ceiling prices are Rs. 24.39 per ml for Heparin 1000IU/ml and Rs. 60.54 per ml for Heparin 5000IU/ml. The increased prices are applicable till 31st December 2020.
Regarding the upward revision of the ceiling price of 21 scheduled formulations of 12 medicines, a Committee comprising of Adviser (Cost), Adviser DGHS, and Deputy Drug Controller, DCGI with Director (Pricing), NPPA as the convenor examined such formulations based on parameters of essentiality, market share of the applicant Company and available alternatives, etc. It was noted that these scheduled formulations are low priced drugs and have been under repeated price control. Most of these drugs are used as the first line of treatment and are crucial to the public health program of the country. Many companies have applied for discontinuation of the product on account of them being unviable. Therefore, these formulations were considered for upward price revision to enable manufacturing and continued availability to the consumers, he stated.
"Regarding the ceiling price of scheduled formulations Heparin 1000IU/ml and 5000IU/ml injection, it was noted that Heparin injection 5000IU/ml has also been included in the list of medicine essential for patients admitted in ICU and Hospitalization due to COVID-19 circulated by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW). Uninterrupted supply of such medicines is essential for the management of COVID-19," Gowda said.
Further, reports of shortage were also received for Heparin Injection. The committee headed by Dr. S. Eswara Reddy, Jt Drug Controller, CDSCO reported an increase of 211% in the price of API Heparin when compared to the base year of September 2018, recommending NPPA to consider to increase the ceiling price of Heparin Injection 5000IU/ ml by 50% to ensure the continuous availability of the essential drugs in the public interest. Therefore, the Authority approved a 50% price increase for Heparin up to 31st December 2020 by invoking extraordinary powers in the public interest under Para 19 of the DPCO, 2013 to enable manufacturing and continued availability to the consumers.
Clarifying on whether paragraph 19 of the Drug Prices Control Order 2013 has been used to reduce the drug prices but not for increasing the prices of common drugs, the Minister said that Paragraph 19 of the DPCO, 2013 has been used to reduce the drug prices, however, the provision also provides that in case of extra-ordinary circumstances the government may allow an increase or decrease in the ceiling price or the retail price, as the case may be, irrespective of the annual wholesale price index for that year in the public interest.
To access the official statement click on the link below-