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Tell Us three months in advance of about Price Slashes: AIOCD

Tell Us three months in advance of about Price Slashes: AIOCD

 The All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) have approached the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) to ask the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to intimate all concerned about reduction in prices, (as per reduction in whole sale price index), three months in advance.This is to be done so that there is no inconvenience caused to manufacturers and retailers in implementation of price revision. A memorandum to this effect, is likely to be issued soon.

The memorandum will also ask for the DOP’s intervention  to direct the NPPA to issue a circular to drug manufacturers, asking them to stop production of medicines with batch numbers whose prices have been lowered, as per wholesale price index (WPI) and resume supply of the drugs with revised prices reported Pharmabiz.

The President, Mr. JS Shinde, and the General Secretary, Suresh Gupta  are  planning to call upon Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizer, Ananth Kumar, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertiliser, Hansraj Ahir and Joint Secretary, DoP, Sudhansh Pant in this regard

In accordance with the decline in the WPI by 5% during 2015, the NPPA  on March 2, 2016 notified all manufacturers   of scheduled formulations, having MRP lower than the ceiling price as notified including local taxes- if any, to reduce the maximum retail prices as per the provisions of paragraph 16(4) of Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013.

Mr. Suresh Gupta AIOCD, General Secretary, claimed that there were 20,000 formulations that were affected by the NPPA order. According to him  despite the notification, if anyone was found  selling these formulations at the current price,  they were liable to be prosecuted. He also brought to light the fact that manufacturers had not provided  anyone with the list of revised prices of the formulations, in accordance with the WPI  changes.

Mr. Gupta said if the retailers stopped selling the formulations in the absence of the price list there would be a serious shortage of medicine in the market, leading to an  agonizing situation. As doctors at the time of  prescribing  medicines,  were often not aware of the NPPA changes, he added.

Gupta said that if the Central government  issued any circular  regarding ceiling price or  ban drugs,  the same must be provided to every chemist by the state drug authority or central authority, as well as, pharma manufacturers.

AIOCD president, J S Shinde speaking on the lowering of price issue said  the government should have  given retailers at least three months to sell the available stock with current prices and asked drug manufacturers to supply scheduled formulations, whose prices have been lowered by 2.7 ;with the revised prices coming into play,  after April 1. It would  ensure hassle free implementation of price revision, he added.

NPPA has issued three notifications to concerned stakeholders from March, till date asking them to sell scheduled formulations with revised prices as per WPI, said Shinde.

With 8.5 lakh drug traders including 6 lakh retailers in the country, it has been observed that , 45 to 55 per cent retail chemists  do not have computer and internet facility; hence making it impossible for them to find  20,000 formulations in shops, and sell them to consumers as per NPPA notification, he regretted.

He also informed  that despite several reminders to drug manufacturers asking them to provide retail chemists with revised price list of scheduled formulations, no action had been taken .Most of the drug retailers were not aware of the  NPPA notification and the list of products falling under  it, he further clarified. Mr. Shinde also spoke about the drug manufacturers not  recalling their stocks for re-labelling or letting the drug retailers know of the revision in prices.

He spoke of his helplessness in the case and his intention along with the others to approach the Union and  Health Minister, as well as, the Joint Secretary for help. Mr. Shinde said a memorandum will be submitted to them pleading them to instruct the NPPA to issue a  circular  carrying a price revision notification at least 90 days in advance, to avoid chaos.

Source: Inputs from Pharmabiz
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