Mumbai: Even as a Supreme Court ruling is pending on a drug price overcharging case involving drug maker Cipla Ltd, the country’s drugs price regulator national pharmaceutical pricing authority or NPPA has asked the company to pay up a fresh penalty of Rs27.30 crore on new charges of price rule violation.
This is the second notice that NPPA is serving on Cipla for alleged drug price control norms violation in the last nine months; it was fined Rs748 crore in April 2007. Cipla is contesting that claim too.
In a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Cipla said the latest notice from NPPA was for the period between December 2003 and June 2007 on its antibiotic drug Ciprofloxacin.
The demand is contrary to the orders of the Supreme Court and, “the company has received legal advice that entire amounts demanded by the government are not tenable and sustainable,” it said.
Cipla company secretary S. Radhakrishnan said the drug named in the latest notice “is already covered in the Supreme Court case, which is pending for last four years.” NPPA’s legal and overcharging division director M. P. Singh declined to elaborate. Cipla had appealed to the Supreme Court following a 2003 notice from NPPA, wherein the company was accused of overcharging a range of antibiotics and anti-asthma drugs.