While the government has prepared a few proposals, a final decision about the announcement is yet to be taken. Officials said the Centre is concerned about the high price of certain critical drugs and is keen to regulate them. “Once the proposal goes through, the price reduction will be to the tune of 70%,” a source said. The Centre is also working to revise the National List of Essential Medicine (NLEM), 2015, to include drugs that are currently in wide circulation.
The government is also mulling to cap high-trade margins on drugs that are used by patients for a long period. TOI had on July 22 reported that health minister Mansukh Mandaviya has called for a meet with representatives of the pharma industry on July 26 to discuss the final proposal. An analysis of prices, cited by the source, shows the trade margin on certain drugs to be as high as over 1000%. At present, drug price regulator NPPA caps prices of over 355 drugs that are part of NLEM. Trade margins on such scheduled medicines are also regulated at 8% for wholesalers and 16% for retailers.