Ensure that there is no hoarding, blackmarketing of medicines: NPPA chief tells states on Covid-19 outbreak
State Governments and UTs are requested to closely monitor the production and availability of APIs and their formulations to prevent black marketing and hoarding
New Delhi: Taking strong measures in the light of coronavirus outbreak the apex drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has written to all the states and union territories asking them to ensure that there is no shortage of drugs and APIs in their areas due to black marketing and hoarding
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) Chairman Shubhra Singh has recently written to the chief secretaries of all States and Union Territories to monitor the availability of APIs and drugs in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 in China. WHO has since declared the situation as Global Health emergency.
"It is widely known that India is the Pharmacy of the World. However, India is heavily dependent on China for import of key APIs and KSM and there is an apprehension that in wake of COVID-19 the supplies of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) / Key Starting Materials (KSM) from China might be disrupted, resulting in a shortage of medicines in the country," the letter noted
"As you are aware, Drugs are an essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Further, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was constituted vide Government Resolution dated 29th August 1997 as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemical & Fertilizers, Government of India to function as the National Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of affordable medicines. The NPPA implements the Drugs (Prices Control) Orders (DPCO) issued by the Government from time to time." the letter added
NPPA chief further observed that key Drug Industry Associations have assured the Government that there is enough stock of APIs/ formulations in the country.
"However, as a measure of public health preparedness in respect of APIs/Intermediates/KSMs which are imported from China, State Governments and UTs are requested to closely monitor the production and availability of APIs and their formulations to prevent black marketing and hoarding," she said
"It may also be ensured that there is no violation of provisions of DPCO, 2013 with regard to compliance of ceiling prices / permissible increase in prices of scheduled / non-scheduled formulations. In case any contravention is noticed, necessary action should be taken under the provisions of DPCO, 2013 to ensure availability of life-saving essential drugs to the consumers at all times under intimation to this office," she furhter added