New Delhi: Through a recent reply, the Minister in the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers has informed the Parliament about the difference between the price of branded and generic medicines ranging around 50-90 per cent. The minister informed that the generic version of the drugs sold under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) are normally cheaper by 50-90 per cent of the average price of the top 3 brands of corresponding medicines.
The reply came in response to the questions raised by Deepak Baij in the Lok Sabha wherein Baij asked about the difference in price between branded and generic medicines.
Gaining attention for quite some time, the concerns pertinent to generic drugs were earlier discussed in the Lok Sabha, wherein as per the Minister of State in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey, there is no definition of ‘generic drugs’ in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
According to Choubey’s definition, the generic medicines are generally those which contain some amount of same active ingredients in same dosage form and are intended to be administered by the same route of administration as that of branded medicine.
Raising the query related to generic drugs, the MP sought to know about the details of the mechanism for fixation of the price of branded medicines manufactured by the companies and if the companies are at liberty to fix the prices of branded medicines.
Addressing the issue, Minister D.V. Sadanand Gowda in the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers stated that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixes the ceiling price of scheduled medicines specified in the first schedule of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO) in accordance with the provisions of the DPCO.
All manufacturers of scheduled medicines (branded or generic) have to sell their products within the ceiling price (plus applicable local taxes) fixed by the NPPA. A manufacturer is at liberty to fix the maximum retail price of a non-scheduled formulation (branded or generic) launched by it.
However, as per the DPCO, the manufacturers of non-scheduled formulations are not allowed to increase the maximum retail price of such formulations by more than 10 % per annum.
The medicines sold under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) are generic and normally cheaper by 50-90% of the average price of the top 3 brands of corresponding medicines.
In the last five years i.e. from 01.04.2014 to 31.03.2019, total 5028 PMBJP kendras were opened across the country. The state-wise breakup of this information is given at Annexure which read;
|State-wise breakup of PMBJP kendras opened from 01.04.2014 to 31.03.2019|
|Sl. No.||Name of the State||2014-15||2015-16||2016-17||2017-18||2018-19||Total|
|1||Andaman & Nicobar||0||0||0||0||2||2|
|8||Dadar & Nagar Haveli||0||0||0||7||6||13|
|9||Daman & Diu||0||0||0||3||1||4|
The product basket of PMBJP currently comprises 900 medicines and 154 surgical and consumable items. Out of this product basket, 714 medicines and 53 surgical are presently available for sale at PMBJP kendras. The purchase orders for procurement of 24 medicines and 90 surgical items have already been issued and these medicines/surgical will be available for sale at PMBJP kendras in next two months.
For 162 medicines and 11 surgical items, no bids were received in the last two tenders. Floating tenders for required medicines is an ongoing process.
The details of the amount of money spent on the publicity of PMBJP during the last 5 years are as follows:
|Sl. No.||Financial Year||Amount (Rs. Cr)|