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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Centre expands committee participation to usher in drugs pricing reforms
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Centre expands committee participation to usher in drugs pricing reforms

Department of pharmaceuticals broadens committee by including more industry groups to ensure pricing balance, availability of essential medicines and growth incentives.

The government has invited associations including OPPI, MTaI, AiMED, FOPE, AdvaMed, ADMI, and BDMAI among others to the committee.Premium
The government has invited associations including OPPI, MTaI, AiMED, FOPE, AdvaMed, ADMI, and BDMAI among others to the committee.

New Delhi: The department of pharmaceuticals has decided to expand the committee to oversee efforts to reform drug and medical device pricing by bringing in more industry participants, according to an order issued by it.

As per the order seen by Mint, it has invited at least seven industry associations to the committee that has been tasked with striking a balance between pricing and availability of essential medicines, while offering incentives to the industry to foster growth and exports.

Addressing concerns

The move comes after many associations asked why only one pharma body had been included in the core committee. 

"In continuation to this Department's Order on the subject 'Composition of Committee constituted for Reforms in the Pricing Framework for Drugs and Medical Devices-regarding' and based on the requests received by the Department from various Industry Associations for inclusion of their representatives as Special Invitees in the aforesaid Committee, it has been decided to broaden the list of Special Invitee and additionally include the representatives of the following Pharma and MediTech Associations as Special Invitee in the said Committee," read the order issued on 22 April.

Also read: Centre forms committee to oversee drug pricing reforms

The new inductees are: Director General of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), Managing Director, US-INDIA Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Chairman, Medical Technology Association of India (MTal), Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Director, US India Business Council (USIBC), Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMED), Executive Director, Federation of Pharma Entrepreneurs (FOPE), Representative of AdvaMed, Representative of ADMI (Association of Diagnostic Manufacturers of India), and Representative of BDMAI (Bulk Drugs Manufacturers Association of India), Representative of ASSOCHAM.

Striking balance

The primary task of the committee will be to strike a balance between pricing and availability of essential medicines constitution of a committee for reforms in the pricing framework for drugs and medical devices.

Additionally, the committee will address several other tasks, including instituting reforms within the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), establishing a framework for price moderation for medical devices, providing incentives to reduce imports, and developing a price moderation framework for emerging and precision therapies to ensure timely access for patients in need.

The committee will also supervise the drafting of a new Drugs and Medical Devices (Control) Order, taking into account these objectives, which would benefit the industry. The existing panel comprises three key members: the Secretary of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, the Chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), and the Senior Economic Adviser to the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

Additionally, it will have two representatives from the pharma industry: the Secretary of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance and the Chief Executive of the Indian Drugs Manufacturers' Association. Currently, the NPPA follows the regulations outlined in the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO-2013) to ascertain the prices of medications and medical equipment categorized as drugs.

Also read: CDSCO mandates online safety reporting for medical devices

The NPPA in 2012 had replaced the "cost-based" pricing of the Drug Policy of 1994 with "market-based" pricing, which led to implementing the DPCO-13. Medical device associations have been advocating for a distinct policy governing the manufacturing and sale of products. The NPPA sets the ceiling price for all scheduled formulations listed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). 

“We express our gratitude to the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) for extending an invitation to join the council. As an organization committed to fostering innovation, and accessibility in healthcare, OPPI firmly believes that achieving a balanced approach to price review within the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors requires the participation of a diverse range of stakeholders in the decision-making process. As advocates of patient-centric solutions, we remain steadfast in our commitment to emphasizing the importance of striking a balance between affordability and innovation, ensuring that patients have access to life-saving treatments while incentivizing continued research and development," said Anil Matai, Director General, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI).

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 05:58 PM IST
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