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Times of India
18 March 2011
New Delhi, India

Price Regulator Puts Blame On Rising Raw Material Cost
62 Drugs Set to Get Costlier
Prices of 62 drugs, mainly used for treating diabetes and tuberculosis, have been raised while the rates of 14 other medicines have been reduced by drug pricing regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).

However, prices of 21 drugs have remained unchanged after a fresh review of the pricing of key medicines by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority at its meeting last week.

The NPPA, which considered rates for 19 drugs for the first time, reviewed prices of drugs used in treatment of diabetes, allergy, malaria, diarrhoea, asthma and hypertension along with antiseptics.

"We have to do a balancing act and provide a level playing field to the indigenous manufacturers who account for nearly 10% of the total domestic market for insulin," NPPA Chairman S M Jharwal said. He said that despite the increased in prices of insulin–based medicines, drugs for treatment of diabetes manufactured by two domestic firms– Biocon and Wockhardt – would still remain affordable.

"Although the prices of the indigenously manufactured insulin–based formulations have been increased in range of 5–18%, they would still be lower by nearly 15% than the formulations based on the imported bulk insulin drug," Jharwal said.On its decision to increase prices, NPPA said raw material cost and revision in the norms of conversion cost, packing charges and pricing of packaging materials as notified on December 16, 2010 necessitated the move.

The companies which would be affected by the price revision include Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, GSK, Biocon, Wockhardt, Lupin and Cipla, the NPPA said.

MCI governing body gets 1–yr extension
New Delhi: The governing body of the Medical Council of India (MCI), which is preparing the new undergraduate and post–graduate medical curriculum, has got a year–long extension. The Union Cabinet on Thursday extended the term of the six–member board of governors by a year. Tainted by corruption charges, the 76–year–old MCI was dissolved last year, and replaced by a six–member panel of eminent doctors to carry out its duties.

An ordinance dissolving the all–powerful body was signed by President Pratibha Patil, and notified by the law ministry.

More Sting in the Jab Diabetes drugs: Indigenous drugs costlier, but cheaper than imported drugs
Diuretic: Cheaper by 2.5%
Anti–TB drugs: No significant increase
Malaria drug: Costlier due to rises in import price of ingredients used in it
Asthma & hypertension drugs: Asthma Prices of certain drugs reduced

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