Minister informs Parliament about steps taken to promote affordable generic drugs
New Delhi: The Minister in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda recently informed the Parliament about the steps taken by the Government to promote the use of domestically manufactured drugs and medicines.
This comes while responding to queries raised by Ajay Nishad during a Lok Sabha session seeking the steps taken /proposed to be taken by the Government for monitoring the medicines prescribed by the doctors or sold by the pharmacies if the Government proposes or has made it mandatory for the doctors to prescribe only the low priced generic medicines for the patients. Nishad further asked if the Government has taken any steps to encourage the use of Indigenous manufactured medicines.
In response to this, Gowda furnished the below-mentioned details for the steps taken by the Government to promote the use of domestically manufactured drugs and medicines:
- National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Policy, 2012 (NPPP-2012) was notified with the objective to put in place a regulatory framework for pricing of drugs so as to ensure availability of required medicines – "essential medicines" at reasonable prices even while providing sufficient opportunity for innovation and competition to support the growth of pharma industry thereby meeting the goals of employment and shared economic well-being for all.
- In order to promote and to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices to all through specific outlets, a scheme in the name of „Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana‟ (PMBJP) is functioning across the country. As on 15.11.2019, 5,760 PMBJP Kendras are functional in 33 States/Union Territories of the country.
- In order to promote domestically manufactured drugs, the Government is providing financial support for research and development through Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Research Programme (DPRP) run by the Department of Science & Technology. The companies undertaking Research & Development activities provide income tax benefits.
- The Drugs Prices Control Order, 2013, (DPCO) Para-32(iii) provides exemptions from price control to a manufacturer producing a new drug involving a new delivery system developed through indigenous Research and Development for a period of five years from the date of its market approval in India.
- The government vide its notification dated 28th January 2016 has withdrawn exemption of customs duty on certain categories of Bulk Drugs/APIs to provide level playing field to the domestic manufacturers.
- The government is facilitating all kinds of clearances required by the manufacturers to give a boost to domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs.
- In order to encourage „Make in India‟ and to promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India, the Department of Pharmaceuticals vide its Order No. 31026/4/2018-Policy dated 01.01.2019 has notified Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order, 2017, for Pharmaceutical Formulations.
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Gowda also added that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide their Circular dated 08.04.2015 has directed all the specialists/Doctors working in Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) to ensure that generic drugs are prescribed to the maximum extent possible with a view to make medical treatment cost-effective and affordable.
Further, Clause 1.5 of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 prescribes that every physician should prescribe drugs with generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters and he/she shall ensure that there are a rational prescription and use of drugs.
Director, CGHS has vide Office Memorandum dated 08.09.2017, issued instructions to all CGHS Wellness Centres to ensure that prescription is only by generic name wherever generic drugs are available. Medical Council of India (MCI) has issued Circulars dated 21.04.2017, 22.11.2012 and 18.01.2013 vide which all the Registered Medical Practitioners have been directed to comply with the aforesaid provisions.
The MCI or the appropriate State Medical Councils have been empowered to take disciplinary action against a doctor for violation of the provisions of the aforesaid Regulations. As and when complaints are received against the violation of these, such complaints are referred by MCI to the concerned State Medical Councils where the doctors/medical practitioners are registered for appropriate action.