Cipla, Pfizer and Sanofi have started supplying drugs capped in the anti-diabetic and cardio-vascular segments as per the July 10 NPPA notification which has brought in as many as 108 anti-diabetic formulation and cardiovascular formulation packs under price control. Few other pharma companies have however approached the Courts against the NPPA order.
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had fixed the prices of 108 formulation packs of 50 non scheduled drugs in antidiabetic and cardiovascular segments effective from July 10, 2014 in the wider public interest.
As per sources, the prices of antidiabetic and cardiovascular drugs across all brands would vary in the range of 10 per cent to 40 per cent. Anti-diabetic drug Amaryl 1mg 15 tablets from Sanofi is currently being supplied at the revised DPCO price at Rs.60.15 as compared to the earlier price ofRs.112 and Amaryl 2 mg 15 tablets is currently being supplied at the revised DPCO price at Rs.98.10 as compared to the earlier price of Rs.160.15. Sanofi's anti-hypertensive drug Cardace 2.5 mg is now available at the current revised price of Rs.59.30 for 15 tablets as compared to the earlier price of Rs.79.80. Cardace 5 mg is now available at the current revised price of Rs.92.10 for 15 tablets as compared to the earlier price of Rs.128.80.
As per sources, Ranbaxy has issued a letter to the stockists with reference to the subject of notification by NPPA dated 10 July 2014. The copy of the letter which is with Pharmabiz states - "We draw kind attention of stockists to our circular dated 26 August 2014 on the above subject and wish to share the update on the matter pending before Bombay High Court. The matter which was initially fixed for hearing on 28 August, 2014 got postponed to 2nd September 2014. On 2nd September, 2014 also, the matter could not be heard and next hearing is fixed for 24 February, 2015.
The letter further stated that "As you are aware the aforesaid notification is being challenged by IPA and as per Bombay HC direction no coercive action is to be taken until the matter is heard by the court on next hearing viz., 24 February 2015. As informed earlier, we shall abide by the Order of the Hon'ble Court and we shall keep you posted on the final outcome of this case. Meanwhile, we would like to mention that business will continue to be as usual with you and that Ranbaxy shall take all due steps to be in compliance with law and at the same time we assure to protect business interest of all our business partners. We appreciate your continued business support and request you to maintain inventory level commensurating to your secondary sales in the interest of patient servicing."
The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) and the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), had challenged the order in the Bombay and Delhi high courts, respectively. While the Delhi High Court has refused to entertain the OPPI petition seeking a stay on the DPCO, the Bombay HC is yet to hear the IPA plea.
The Delhi High Court had on August 1 refused to stay NPPA's July 10 order fixing prices of 108 non-scheduled drugs, but sought responses from the pricing authority by September 29, when it will hear the petition.
Significantly, the Delhi HC observed that paragraph 19 of the 2013 DPCO does not restrict price fixation to only essential drugs. Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, authorises the NPPA in extraordinary circumstances, if it considers necessary so to do in public interest, to fix the ceiling price or retail price of any drug for such period as it deems fit, the court had said.