Government sets up panel to curb prices of key drugs

Medicines, Drugs

Taking a major step towards affordable healthcare and ensuring that key life-saving drugs are available to everyone the government has today set up a panel to curb prices of key drugs.

The new panel was set up by the department of pharmaceuticals and has been asked to asked to suggest policy measures as also penalty that can be introduced in the drug law to deter companies from overcharging consumers on pharmaceutical products.

The panel will be looking at ways to make drugs affordable for the common man by revisiting the pharmaceutical pricing policy. The move comes in the wake of PM Narendra Modi directing the department to take immediate measures to further bring down drug prices so that they are affordable for everyone.

Over the last decade lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension and life-threatening disease such as cancer have made massive holes in pockets of people through constant requirement of medication. The government is targeting to bring down the prices of key medicines so that more and more people can get the required medication and do not lose their lives prematurely.

The six member committee, which has representatives from health ministry, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and National Health System Resources Centre (NHSRC) apart from DoP itself, will also suggest changes in the existing drug law and is likely to give more teeth to NPPA, which currently regulates prices of pharmaceutical products in the country.