The Hush Post: Finally there is a cap on medicines for the treatment of cancer, heart diseases and skin diseases. The prices have been brought down between 6 to 53 per cent. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on Friday said it has put a cap on the prices of 51 essential formulations, including those used for the treatment of cancer, pain, heart conditions and skin problems. However, the medicines which do not come under price control, the manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price by 10 per cent yearly.

The drug price regulator in another notification said it has notified ceiling prices of 13 formulations, while revising the same for 15 others. Also, retail prices of 23 essential formulations have been notified, the NPPA said.

Drugs whose ceiling prices have been capped include drug for the treatment of rectal and colon cancer called oxaliplatin (injection 100mg), Japanese encephalitis vaccine and measles rubbela vaccine. On the other hand, ceiling prices of drugs including anaesthetic sevoflurane, phytomenadione (Vitamin K1) and tuberculosis prevention medicine BCG vaccine have been revised.

The reduction in prices following the latest exercise will range between six and 53 per cent. NPPA fixes ceiling price of essential medicines of Schedule I under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order DPCO 2013.The calculation for essential drugs is based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1 per cent.

NPPA is entrusted with the task of fixation and revision of prices of pharmaceutical products, enforcement of provisions of DPCO and monitoring of prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.

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