NPPA to see a shift in its role from Price Fixer to mere Regulator
New Delhi: Soon the country will be going to have a new form of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) as the government is ready to reorganize the regulator.
According to a recent report in TOI, the government is set to restructure the authority in order to revamp the drug price regulation in the country, while strengthening implementation and market monitoring.
The authority will be soon going to be renamed and will be replaced by a board or a council with four full-time members, including the chairman. The other three members will be an economist, a costing specialist and a technology expert — will also hold a rank similar to the chairman, according to a proposal being considered at the highest level of the government.
A government official told TOI, “The proposal was floated by Niti Aayog and discussed in a meeting with the PMO. Largely, there is a consensus on this within the government and therefore, we are expecting a notification by end of this month.”
Currently, the regulator is responsible for regulating drug prices and ensuring the availability of medicines, but the role is expected to change to become more of a regulatory body implementing and monitoring prices in the market, than fixing them.
At present, NPPA has the powers to cap prices of medicines according to the Drugs Price Control Order. Beside this, it also gives new price approvals and looks at price revisions. The authority also has the powers to regulate prices of all medicines and medical devices under extraordinary circumstances in the public interest.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals, last year issued orders to restrict the power of the authority to only the medicines and devices notified on the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) after the regulator extended the width of price control by bringing in some key drugs as well as stents and knee implants under the purview of price control.