Covid-19 drug Remdesivir price slashed to Rs 3500 from Rs 5400 per vial: NPPA to HC
Hyderabad: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has recently filed an affidavit informing Telangana High Court that the price of Covid-19 drugs such as Remdesivir have been brought down following the intervention of the Centre and is under a price ceiling, adding that the drugmakers can not raise prices at their discretion.
This comes in response to the Telangana High Court's inquiry regarding allegations that private hospitals were exploiting Covid-19 patients by charging extortionate fees.
As per a recent report in the Times of India, the court was hearing a batch of PILs on Covid-19 that questioned the excessive pricing and the authorities' failure. As a result, NPPA was ordered to provide an affidavit outlining the steps it had taken to curb the hospitals' exploitative practises.
In this regard, the NPPA stated in its affidavit that the prices of critical Covid medications had been drastically reduced in line with the Central Government's efforts to improve the availability and affordability of key Covid drugs. Remdesivir, a potential therapy candidate for Covid-19 that falls under non-scheduled pharmaceuticals, has had its price slashed from Rs 5,400 per vial to Rs 3,500 per vial.
NPPA deputy director T Rajesh Kumar, in this case, pointed out the office memorandum issued by NPPA dated, April 17, 2021 where NPPA, in a letter to Cadila Healthcare, Cipla Limited, Dr Reddy's Labs, Hetero Drugs, Jubilant Pharma, Mylan Labs and Syngene International had sought compliance of revised MRP with respect to Remdesivir as per the DPCO, 2013, in order to meet the certain demand. Following that, on the intervention of the Government, the major manufacturers and marketers of Remdesivir injection reported a voluntary reduction in Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
The Medical Dialogues Team had earlier reported that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had announced a reduction in the price of seven brands of anti-COVID drug Remdesivir in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,700.
NPPA deputy director T Rajesh Kumar further emphasised in his statement that the NPPA generally determined the ceiling pricing of all scheduled formulation medications in accordance with the provisions of the Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013. As a result, all manufacturers of scheduled drugs must sell their products within the price cap to which GST may be applied.
In the case of non-scheduled medications, the NPPA deputy director clarified that manufacturers have the freedom to determine the pricing. However, manufacturers of non-scheduled pharmaceuticals can not increase the maximum retail pricing of their pharmaceuticals by more than 10% in a year.
As a result, because remdesivir is a non-scheduled medication, producers of non-scheduled drugs are not permitted to raise the maximum retail price of their goods by more than 10% in a single year.
Furthermore, he stated that the NPPA is monitoring the situation with regard to Covid 19 management medications, regardless of whether the medicine is scheduled or non-scheduled.
"Remdesivir is a non-scheduled drug. NPPA is monitoring the situation in respect of nonscheduled drugs used in the management of Covid-19 to ensure that the manufacturers do not increase the prices beyond10% per annum, "according to NPPA deputy director T Rajesh Kumar, TOI reported.
In addition, he also stressed the fact that the NPPA is also working with the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) to eliminate supply chain barriers.