New Delhi: Activist groups led by Jyoti Mirdha, member of the parliamentary committee on health, criticized market-based pricing (MBP) of life-saving drugs in India in their submission on Friday to the group of ministers (GoM) on pharmaceutical pricing policy.
The GoM is likely to make final recommendations on the draft policy to the Union cabinet in July after getting approvals from the Supreme Court.
Industry representatives had last week backed the MBP mechanism in a presentation.
On Friday, the activist groups stressed the need for a tightly regulated market, with price control extending to nearly 900 molecules instead of limiting them to 348 drugs that currently comprise the essential drug list.
Industry had demanded that medicines already priced below Rs3 per tablet should be kept out of price controls.
Mirdha sought expansion of the national list of essential medicines and criticized what she said was industry’s argument for an unregulated market.
The GoM was constituted in 2009 to regulate prices of 348 essential drugs. It has met with industry stakeholders such as the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India, the Indian Pharmaceutical Association and a grouping of chemists and druggists.
“The GoM will now come up with its own version of the policy, keeping in mind concerns expressed by all stakeholders. The policy will have to be vetted by the Supreme Court before it gets a cabinet nod,” said a senior health ministry official who didn’t want to be named.