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Pharma companies oppose inclusion of 348 drugs in NLEM

Union health ministry's plan to bring 348 drugs of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) under price control is facing stiff resistance from the pharma industry, reports the Times of India.

January 06, 2012 / 03:01 PM IST

Union health ministry's plan to bring 348 drugs of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) under price control is facing stiff resistance from the pharma industry, reports the Times of India. 


According to ASSOCHAM, around 75% of the industry will come under price control in case the draft National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Policy (NPPP, 2011) is pursued in its present form.


Cautioning that it will cripple the pharma sector, Kewal Handa, chairman of ASSOCHAM's drugs and pharmaceuticals Council, said the government estimates that the new policy would bring 60% of the Rs 48,200-crore domestic formulation industry under the pricing control compared to 20% earlier.


At present, prices of only 74 bulk drugs and formulations, containing any of these scheduled drugs, are under the price control regime. Once a medicine is brought under DPCO, it cannot be sold at a price higher than that fixed by the government.

NLEM has 348 medicines that cover 489 formulations, including 16 fixed-dose combinations. These drugs are considered to be adequate to meet the common contemporary health needs of the general population.

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