New Delhi: As many as 37 drug formulations including those for treating bacterial and fungal infections, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, anaemia, muscle pain and migraine will become cheaper with the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) reducing their prices.

The drug price regulator announced the reduction in a notification on its website.

“Prices of these formulations have been reduced by 15-20%," an NPPA official said, requesting anonymity.

The NPPA lowered the prices of drug formulations like Rifabutin, Isoniazid (both used to treat TB), Flucaxanole (anti-fungal medication), Sumatriptan (for migraine), Iohexol (a contrast agent used during X-rays) and Hepatitis B immunoglobulin. That raised the number of drugs under price control to 821.

NPPA said manufacturers not complying with the ceiling price would be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest under the provisions of the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013. Drug retailers will have to display the price list prominently in their premises.

“All manufacturers of scheduled formulations, selling the branded or generic or both the versions of scheduled formulations at a price higher than the ceiling price (plus goods and services tax as applicable) so fixed and notified by the government, shall revise the prices of all such formulations downward not exceeding the ceiling price specified plus goods and services tax as applicable, if any," it said.

The government fixes the prices of essential drugs based on the simple average price of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1%. Manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price of drugs that are not under price controls by 10% annually.

The government notified the Drugs (Price Control) Order with effect from 15 May 2014, replacing a 1995 order that regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs.

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