India to hike number of drugs under price control

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September 21, 2012

The government could increase the number of price-controlled prescription drugs from 74 to 348.

India set to hike number of prescription drugs under price controls

India could increase by nearly five-fold the number of price-controlled generic drugs available in the country, a minister said on Thursday.

September 21, 2012

The government could increase the number of price-controlled prescription drugs from 74 to 348.

India set to hike number of prescription drugs under price controls

India could increase by nearly five-fold the number of price-controlled generic drugs available in the country, a minister said on Thursday.

India is the world's leading manufacturer and exporter of non-branded medicines. Affordability of drugs is a huge issue in a country where hundreds of millions of people live in abject poverty.

Srikant Jena, federal minister for chemicals and fertilizers, said that the government has "almost decided" on boosting the number of generic drugs under price controls from 74 to 348.

"We are working on the price mechanism for it," he said.

The proposal, which could be implemented this year, has drawn heavy fire from local and foreign drug producers who that say India's market is already sufficiently competitive and that there is no need to impose price controls.

The proposals would bring about two-thirds of India's drug compounds under price controls, compared with the current 20 percent.

According to the head of the committee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, a ministerial panel will finalize the plan to increase the number of generic drugs under price controls.

The statements come after India announced in July it was moving ahead with plans to spend nearly $5 billion to supply free drugs to patients, an attempt to bring the nation closer to universal health care coverage.


— Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report —