The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed ceiling prices of 355 medicines and 882 formulations under the National List of Essential Medicines, 2015, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

“Most of the drugs that are part of COVID-19 management protocol have ceiling prices, viz., paracetamol, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, IVIGs, enoxaparin, budesonide, heparin and amphotericin, etc,” Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya said in a written reply to a query in the Lok Sabha.

In the case of few non-scheduled medicines like remdesivir, which are part of COVID-19 protocol and are non-scheduled, on government intervention, MRPs of various brands of remdesivir have been reduced voluntarily by the major manufacturers/marketers of the remdesivir injection (lyophilized), he added.

Inter-brand maximum retail prices (MRPs) that varied up to 5,400 per vial were brought down to less than 3,500, the minister said.

“Furthermore, to facilitate availability and ensure affordability, NPPA has capped the trade margin for oxygen concentrators at 70% on price to distributor level vide notification dated June 3, 2021, and on pulse oximeter, glucometer, BP monitor, nebuliser and digital thermometer vide notification dated July 13, 2021,” he added.

In addition, retail prices for 1,640 formulations have been fixed under DPCO, 2013, till date and in recent years exercising extraordinary powers under DPCO, 2013, in public interest. NPPA had fixed the ceiling price of stents in February 2017, ceiling price of knee implants in August 2017, and also capped trade margin on selected 42 anti-cancer drugs in February 2019, Mandaviya said.

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