New Delhi: The government recently came up with an order which is likely to clip the powers of drug pricing regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). The Department of Pharmaceuticals has constituted a standing committee headed by Niti Aayog to ensure availability of affordable medicines in the market. The committee will be a recommending body to NPPA regarding prices of pharmaceutical products.
The Standing Committee on Affordable Medicines and Health Products will be headed by NITI Aayog member (health), Dr VK Paul. The seven-member panel includes:
- Member(Health), NITI Aayog- Chairman
- Chief economic adviser to Ministry of Finance- Member
- Secretary of Department of Health Research- Member
- Vice-chairperson of NLEM- Member
- Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion- Member
- Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Family Welfare- Member
- Subject expert in biomedical devices, pharmaceuticals or biotechnology- Invitee Members
The salient features of the notice are:
- The Committee shall be housed in the NITI Aayog and will be serviced by it.
- Where considered necessary, the Committee may interact with the stakeholders like Civil associations of drug manufacturers and individual experts on the subject under reference.
- The Committee may also co-opt experts from other Government Departments/Ministries/Organizations/Pharma Associations as and when
The Terms of Reference of the Committee shall be as follows:
- The Committee shall be a recommending body to NPPA regarding prices of drugs and health
- The Committee may take a matter for examination, suo-moto or on the recommendations/request of Department of Pharmaceuticals, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and Department of Health & Family Welfare.
The Committee will meet periodically as needed.
Till now NPPA was the sole government regulatory agency that controlled the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India. However, the newly formed standing committee will now intervene and recommend prices of pharmaceuticals products to NPPA.
The notice can be accessed by clicking on the following link: