National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) : UPSC Notes

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Recently, the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was organized. On this occasion “Pharma Fair Price 2.0” app was launched. It is equipped with the facility of speech recognition along with consumer complaint management system.

UPSC Syllabus: This topic will come under Health Government Policies and Interventions.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

  • NPPA is an autonomous body consisting of experts, affiliated to the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
  • It was formed in the year 1997.

Functions of NPPA

  • It implements the provisions of the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO).
  • It regulates the prices of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and products for the country.
  • Its other functions include fixing and revising the prices of deregulated bulk drugs and formulations, maintaining production, import-export and market share data of pharmaceutical companies.

How does the pricing mechanism work?

  • The prices of all medicines that come under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) are regulated.
  • NLEM lists the drugs used to treat fever, infection, heart disease, high blood pressure, anemia etc. These drugs include commonly used drugs like Paracetamol, Azithromycin etc.
  • The health ministry prepares a list of drugs eligible for price regulation, after which the pharmaceutical department includes them in Schedule I of the DPCO.
  • Later NPPA fixes the prices of medicines in this schedule.

Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, drugs are classified into schedules. Regulations are prescribed for their storage, display, sale, distribution etc.

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