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Note on How Indian Cancer/TB/AIDS and Heart Patients to bear the cost of Modi’s American Jamboree

Note on How Indian Cancer/TB/AIDS and Heart Patients to bear the cost of Modi’s American Jamboree

(PLEASE SEE ATTACHED

ANNEX-I: CHART OF COMPARATIVE PRICES OF DRUGS TO BE IMPACTED

ANNEX-II: CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS ON DRUG PRICE CONTROL)

 

By forcing the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) to withdraw its guidelines of May, 2014 for drug price fixation Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extracted a very heavy price from the country’s poor and ailing for his much and PR exercise while in US.

 

Earlier, the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers by the virtue of a notification dated 30th May, 2013 had delegated the government’s power to regulate prices of Life Saving Drugs to the NPPA which in turn had successfully affected lower prices for a broad spectrum of Life Saving Drugs.

 

The guidelines of the NPPA had sought to widen the ambit of drug price regulation beyond the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines) list by including Life Saving Drugs – for starters anti-cancer medicines, HIV drugs, anti-tuberculosis, anti-malaria, cardiovascular, anti-diabetes, anti-asthmatic drugs and immunologicals so that no company could price their products at a more than 25% markup over the simple average of the products in that category. He has not even spared children – immunologicals cover the cost of vaccines.

 

While this move will get Shri Modi good PR and earn the Corporate houses undeserved profits, the common man – the middle and lower class Indian- will be left devastated by the sheer insensitivity of this move. It may be noted that India has about 4.1 crore diabetes, 4.7 crore coronary heart disease, 22 lakh tuberculosis, 11 lakh cancer and 25 lakh HIV/ AIDS patients, who along with their families are going to be severely hit by this anti-people/ anti-national decision.

 

The guideline for price fixation for Life Saving Drugs has been a sore point with pharmaceutical companies particularly MNC majors. Shri Modi is carrying to America as gift, the hard-earned money of the country’s poor. The beneficiaries of this unprecedented anti national move is only going to be the American Pharmaceutical Giants, Indian Drug Manufacturers and the United States administration, even as crores of TB, Cancer, AIDS, Malaria and heart patients and their families will be made to pay through their nose for sustaining treatment.

 

This is what the Planning Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage had to say: “Almost 74% of private out of pocket expenditures today are on drugs…India’s dynamic domestic generic industry is at the risk of takeover by multinational companies.” Health expenses are among the leading causes of bankruptcy and in playing into the hands of the business lobby in the US for the sake of his long pending visit to the country Shri Modi has pushed millions in India to the edge of that cliff.

 

Besides the Government decision to withdraw NPPA’s internal guidelinesthat empowered the regulator to fix ceiling prices of lifesaving drugs,would leave the frail health of Indians in the hands of self-serving foreign drug manufacturing corporate sharks. Further, in future this move would be used by the pharma industry and the courts for subverting any intervention by the Government extremely difficult.

 

ANNEX-I

List of prices of some of the drugs whose prices came down as a result of UPA policies and are NOW EXPECTED TO GROW UP

 

Category

Name of Drug

Original Prices (Rs.)

Prices after UPA’s intervention (Rs.)

Anti Cancer

Tab Geftinate

11500

5900

 

Tab Nolvadex

200

45

 

Tab Veenat

11500

8500

 

Tab Glevec

108000

8500

       

Blood Pressure/ Heart

Tab Cardace 5mg.

128

92

 

Tab Seloken XL 50

164

78

 

Tab Losar 50mg.

94

67

 

Tab Plavix

1615

147

       

Anti-biotic

Tab Moxicip 400

399

250

 

Tab Moxif

418

295

 

Tab Taxim O 200

198

118

 

Tab Augmentin 625

263

150

 

Tab Taribid 200

173

34

       

Cholesterol

Tab Storvas 10

97

62

       

Anti-Depressant

Tab Alprax 0.5

39

31

 

Tab Alprax 0.25

22

15

       

Eye-Drops

Xalatan

1187

450

 

Xalacon

1348

515

       

Diabetes

Inj. Huamn Mixtard

169

140

 

Tab Amaryl 2

208

98

       

Injections

Albumin 20

5500

3800

 

Anti D

3500

2200

 

Anti Rabis (Kamrab)

7000

2670

       

Other

Tab Decdak 2

21

10

 

Tab Zyloric 100

34

21

 

Tab Ocid 20

97

50

 

Tab HCQS 200

63

59

 

Tab Megafreeflex

346

255

 

Tab Andriol

157

115

 

Tab CCM

194

177

 

Tab Amdepin

47.40

31.60

       

T.B. Drugs

AKT 4

13.30

12.70

 

AKT 3

9.15

8.68

 

Rcinex

54

49.70

       

 

 

 

ANNEX II

Chronology of events on Drug Pricing

  1. The Government of India, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers issued Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 on 15th May, 2013. Para 19 of the DPCO, 2013 empowers the Government to fix ceiling prices of the Life Saving Drugs in “Public Interest”.

     

  2. The Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers through a notification (S.O. 1394(E)) dated 30th May, 2013 delegated this power to the autonomous National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA).

     

  3. On 16th May, 2014, the NPPA held a meeting wherein it was decided to issue internal guidelines on capping the prices of Life Saving Drugs.

     

  4. On 29th May, 2014, the NPPA issued Internal Guidelines to fix ceiling prices of Life Saving Drugs and thereafter, issued an order on 10th July, 2014 which successfully affected lower prices for a broad spectrum of Life Saving Drugs.

     

  5. Subsequently, the Government of India on 22nd September, 2014 withdrew the internal guidelines of the NPPA dated 29th May, 2014 – a welfare decisionbenefiting crores of Indians.


     

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