The Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, meeting on pharma pricing policy concluded today with the minister saying all differences have been resolved. CNBC-TV18's Rituparna Bhuyan reports.
"We had resolved all the issues. There were certain issues that were being raised by some of my colleagues. We discussed in-depth and we came to an agreeable formula. I think November 27 is the date when Supreme Court is going to take a view on this," Pawar told reporters after the meeting.
Now, once the GoM's recommendations are finalised, it will be sent to the cabinet for approval. Before November 27, there will be a cabinet meeting where all these recommendations will be finalised and pharma policy will be given a final approval by the union cabinet. On November 27, the Supreme Court will hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that was filed on the pharma pricing policy. There the Supreme Court will take an update on what the government is doing to basically implement this policy.
The Supreme Court will make comments based on whatever the government and the GoM has decided in today's meeting.
The policy is pending since 2003 and even after repeated slamming from the SC, the government so far has failed to arrive at a consensus on the mechanism to regulate prices of essential medicines in the country.
Currently, 74 medicines are under price control. Last month, the Supreme Court had, however, asked the government not to alter the existing mechanism of cost-based drug pricing.