New Delhi: Dr. Reddy’s in a petition in the Delhi High Court on July 19 has blamed the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), of having wrongfully revised the ceiling price of amlodipine, its high blood pressure and chest pain (Angina) treatment tablet.
The NPPA has defended its stand stating that its decision stands correct in accordance with the provisions of the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013.
The company counsel stating facts said,”Under DPCO 2013, it is provided that the ceiling price (fixed) should be carried on for five years.” . Amlodipine (5mg)’s ceiling price was last fixed in 2013, after which minor revisions were carried out as per the revised Wholesale Price Index (WPI), added the counsel.
Arguing for a stay on NPPA’s decision to slash the drug’s price, Dr. Reddy’s counsel informed the court that the price of the drug had been slashed by 25% by the NPPA order dated May 9. He said the price revision had fixed Amlodipine’s ceiling price at Rs. 2.33 per tablet.
Presenting further arguments, he said the government was exerting “uncharted” power to revise the prices of such drugs following the introduction of the amended National List of Essential Medicines 2015.
Dr. Reddy’s has sought a stay because it can return the sum considered as overcharged to the government with interest, if it lost the case, while it would be at a loss for undercharging, if it won, explained the company counsel.
Meanwhile, the NPPA has followed the due process as DPCO 2013 provides for a revision of the ceiling prices either five years from the date of fixing the ceiling price or as and when the NLEM is revised, said the government’s counsel, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain.
“Price revision done by NPPA in this case is exactly as per law and there is no ambiguity in this regard,” NPPA Chairman, Bhupendra Singh, told the media.
In June Dr Reddy’s first moved a vacation bench at the High Court against NPPA’s order. The company contributes Rs48.20 crore of the Rs326.30crore amlodipine (5mg) market with its brand Stamlo (5mg), according to pharmaceutical market research company AIOCD PharmaTrac.
The price revision data of NPPA’s shows the company holding the highest share (16.25%) of amlodipine (5mg)’s total Moving Annual Turnover (MAT).
The drug maker refused to comment on the development, stating that the matter was subjudice
Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal will continue hearing the case on July 22.