In a major overhaul of the country’s drug policy, the government is likely to soon disband the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in its present form and assume the power to set prices of essential medicines, as it seeks to address concerns that excessive controls were stifling innovation and competitiveness of the sector.
The revamped policy will also delink price control from essential medicines. Under the current regime, the moment a drug is brought under the list of essential medicines, it is subject to the price control mechanism. The new system will be more flexible and prices will be regulated only when required. Senior government officials also decided last month to do away with the system of periodic renewal of licences for manufacturing and sale of drugs in the country. Licences will soon be granted for perpetuity.