New Delhi: Anti-monopoly watchdog MRTPC has directed its investigative arm to probe the alleged overpricing of HIV drug ‘Viraday´ by Cipla.
Taking suo moto cognisance over advertisements brought out in various newspapers by an American NGO, the Aids Healthcare Foundation, the Commission has directed the Director General of Investigation and Registration (DGIR) to submit a report within 60 days.
The NGO alleged that Cipla is exporting its HIV/AIDS drug Viraday to African countries at just Rs 21,200 per patient a year while the same for Indian patients cost over Rs 54,000.
According to sources in MRTPC, the anti-monopoly watchdog felt that the over 150% price difference between Africa and India was unjustifiable and suspected it to be an unfair trade practice.
Cipla Joint Managing Director Aman Lulla said that he has not received the notice as yet, but maintained that the company had not sold even a single pack of ‘Viraday’ in Africa.
“It is shocking that AIDS Healthcare Foundation is spending lakhs of rupees on advertisements in various newspapers distorting facts and making baseless allegations,” Cipla had said in a statement on August 9.
While questioning the agenda of the NGO, Cipla, however, said it sold other anti-AIDS drugs to NACO in India at the same prices as in Africa.