NPPA caps prices of 108 diabetes, cardiac drugs

Jul 15 2014, 08:12 IST
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SummaryThe National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), an agency that determines the prices of medicines, has capped the prices of over 100 drugs

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), an agency that determines the prices of medicines, has capped the prices of over 100 drugs used to treat diabetes and cardiaovascular disorders. While the NPPA’s move is good news for patients, pharmaceutical companies are upset with this development.

The 108 drugs whose prices have been capped, under a July 10 NPPA notification, account for 6% of the Indian pharmaceutical market, or R5,500 crore, according to the All-India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists-AWACS (AIOCD-AWACS), an industry association.

The government body has invoked Para 19 of the Drug Pricing Control Order (DPCO), which gives it the authority to regulate the ceiling price of any drug under “extraordinary circumstances” in “public interest.”

The listed drugmakers whose revenues are expected to be hit due to the NPPA’s decision to cap the prices of these drugs include Sanofi India, Abbott India, Ranbaxy Laboratories and AstraZeneca Pharma India.

The biggest impact of this notification is expected to be on Sanofi’s financials. Sanofi India’s share price lost 10.07% to close at R2904.60 per share on the BSE on Monday. The bourse’s benchmark index, Sensex lost 0.07% to close at 25,006.98 points.

Sanofi India said in a statement issued on Monday that the NPPA has “shocked and disappointed” the pharmaceutical industry by issuing a price control order, “without any consultation and participative dialogue with any industry associations.”

NPPA’s latest price control order comes a year after it added 348 drugs to the National List of Essential Medicines in May 2013. The move adversely affected the revenues of companies like GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in FY14.

With the recent amendment, prices of 57.5% of drug molecules used to treat cardiac ailments and 21% of the molecules used to manage diabetes will plunge, thereby bringing down the cost of the end-use pills that use these molecules. This is expected to benefit 65 million diabetes patients and 30 million people suffering from cardiovascular and related ailments in India.

Shailesh Ayyangar, managing director of Sanofi in India said that NPPA’s price control order passed in May 2013 was welcomed by the industry despite a “resultant decline in profitability” for companies as it was in the interest of a “better and transparent price control mechanism.”

“However, this (July 10) notification, has shaken the confidence of the industry," Ayyangar said. "According to NPPA, this intervention was deemed necessary to make diabetes and cardiology drugs more affordable, while alleging exploitative pricing on the part

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