Bio Spectrum — May 2017

(Jacob Rumans) #1
Indian Pharmaceutical Association
(IPA), a body of major domestic
pharma firms, has hit out at the
government over drug price control
issue and asks whether the rule of
law for the sector has been followed.
Expressing concern about future
of the pharma industry in India,
IPA said pharma companies have
become a victim of “unbridled turf
war” between the Department of
Pharma and drug price regulator
NPPA. In a letter to Niti Aayog Vice-
Chairman Arvind Panagariya, the
IPA said the last couple of years have

been unsettling for the domestic
pharma industry due to “arbitrary
and imaginative” implementation of
the drug pricing policy.
The alliance, which has members
including major homegrown
companies such as Sun Pharma, Dr
Reddy’s, Lupin, Glenmark, Cipla
and Cadila, among others, further
questioned the government’s
measures “that do not help customers
nor the industry”.
“The industry is perplexed by
the propriety, not just legality,
of several recent decisions of the

government. It has begun to doubt
if the country follows rule of law for
the pharmaceutical industry,” IPA
Secretary General DG Shah said in
the letter. Hitting out at the turf war
between the Department of Pharma
(DoP) and the NPPA, the letter said it
has become a nightmare not because
the pricing policy is defective.
“The problems have cropped up
because of imaginative and arbitrary
implementation of the pricing policy
and unbridled turf war between the
government (DoP) and the regulator
(NPPA),” it said.

The Centre is taking steps to explore the benefit of
using genomic research for precision medicine,
the Lok Sabha was informed. “The Science and
Engineering Research Board under the Department
of Science and Technology (DST) has taken steps
to explore the benefit of using genomic research
for precision medicine approach,” MoS for Health
Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply. He
said the department has sponsored various projects,
especially mapping the genes
responsible for a number of
non-communicable diseases
(NCDs), to strengthen and
promote genomic research.
“Studies are in
progress to delineate the
etiopathogenesis of various diseases, which will have
impact on early diagnosis and prevention. Apart from
this, extramural programmes have been initiated by
the DST for scientists in this area,” Kulaste said.
He said the Indian Council of Medical Research
(ICMR) has set up a task force on pharmacogenomics
in 2012 and has funded 11 projects between 2015 and

  1. The ICMR has also funded advance centre on
    genomics Type 2 diabetes while the health ministry is
    also running a national programme to check the rise
    of NCDs, the minister said. Precision medicine is an
    emerging approach for treatment and prevention of
    diseases that takes into account individual variability
    in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person.

Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing
Authority (NPPA) has increased price of stents by
around 2 per cent effective April 1 after taking into
account wholesale price index. The prices of bare
metal stents have gone up to Rs 7,400 from the earlier
announced prices of Rs 7,260. Similarly, price of drug
eluting stent has increased to Rs 30,180 from Rs
29,600 earlier.
In February, NPPA brought
stents under price control and
capped ceiling price of coronary
stents at Rs 7,260 for bare metal
stent and Rs 29,600 for drug-
eluting ones. The corresponding
average MRPs before the price
control stood at Rs 45,100 and Rs
1.21 lakh respectively. NPPA has
also fixed ceiling price of 46 drug
formulations used for various
ailments including hepatitis B,
HIV and tuberculosis.
“NPPA has fixed/revised
ceiling prices of 46 scheduled
formulations of Schedule-I
under Drugs (Price Control)
Amendment Order,” the regulator said in a statement.
The government fixes the prices of essential drugs
based on the simple average of all medicines in a
particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more
than one per cent. Besides, it regulates the prices of all
other medicines, while companies are allowed to hike
prices of such drugs by up to 10 per cent in a year.

IPA questions drug pricing policy implementation

Govt explores benefit

of genomic research

for precision drugs

Stent prices up by

around 2 per cent

(^10) POLICY AND REGULATORY NEWS l (^) BioSpectrum | May 2017 |

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