Parl Panel Moots One-Time Settlement of Drug Overpricing Cases
A Parliamentary panel has suggested a one-time settlement of drug overpricing cases that regulator NPPA is currently fighting with the pharmaceutical companies.
Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has been trying to recover a whopping Rs 4,551 crore including interests from various pharma companies for overcharging as of February this year. As much as 82 per cent of this amount is under litigation.
The standing committee on Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers in its report tabled in Parliament noted that NPPA had prepared a draft for one-time settlement with an aim of quick recovery of overcharged amount that was sent to the Department of Pharmaceuticals for its formal approval.
"The earlier proposal sent two years back to Ministry of Finance was not approved. The committee, therefore recommend that the department should take up the matter with Ministry of Finance again by strongly putting its case for one-time settlement scheme with full justification," the report added.
The Parliamentary panel also said it is dismayed to note that since inception of NPPA, there are 1,389 cases as on February 29, 2016. Where demand notices have been issued to pharmaceutical companies for recovery of overcharged amount.
NPPA mandate is to fix or revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs, formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country. It has been entrusted with fixation of prices of scheduled drugs under the Drug (Price Control) Order, 1995 (DPCO) 1995 and DPCO 2013.
The regulator also monitors prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.