Most anti-cancer drugs costly despite price cap, says AIDAN

  1. According to All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN),despite the Government’s decision of price capping of 42 anti-cancer drugs most cancer medicines still remain unaffordable to most Indians because there is no curb on profiteering by pharma manufacturers.Profiteering means unfair profit realized by traders by manipulating prices,tax rate adjustment among others.
  2. They have said that the formula for price capping was developed by the Standing Committee chaired by Niti Aayog.The committee was not equipped with the technical expertise from the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) nor the data for analysing and designing a methodology to cap margins.
  3. Earlier,National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had invoked powers under Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 and brought 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control by capping trade margin at 30%.
  4. The trade margin is the difference between the price at which manufacturers sell drugs to stockists (and distributors) and maximum retail price (MRP) to patients.
  5. NPPA is an independent body set up in 1997 under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.Its mandate is to fix/revise controlled bulk drugs prices and formulations, enforce prices and availability of medicines under Drug(Price Control) order, 2013.
  6. Functions of NPPA are:(a) To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (b)Deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the Authority (C) To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages and (d)To collect/ maintain data on production, exports and imports, profitability of companies etc, for bulk drugs and formulation.
  7. All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) is a national network of several non government organisations founded in 1981 who advocate for a rational drug policy and to increase access and improve the rational use of essential medicines.It works to promote Essential medicine Concept,for better controls on drug promotion and the provision of balanced,independent information for prescribers and consumers.