The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that drug manufacturers and retailers cannot sell medicines at higher prices mentioned on the label of the boxes if the government notifies a lower rate. They must implement the price fixed under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) within 15 days from the date of notification.
The bench of Justices R M Lodha and Kurian Joseph rejected the argument that the revised prices should not impact the existing stocks.
“Does it mean that during this period of 15 days, it is open to the manufacturer to... clear the bulk drug or formulations at pre-notified prices? We do not think so... a consumer... can hardly be offered two prices for the same product based only on the difference in batch numbers. Consumer must get the benefit of the notified price,” it held.