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Centre Asks Regulators, State Govt’s To Ensure Supply Of APIs, Drugs At Affordable Prices

The central government on Tuesday asked National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and state governments to ensure adequate supply of APIs and formulations at affordable prices in the market.

It also issued instructions to NPPA, DCGI and state governments to prevent black marketing, illegal hoarding, artificial shortages of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations in the country.

NPPA has also written to chief secretaries of states with copies to principal secretaries (health) and state drug controllers urging them to closely monitor the production and availability of APIs and formulations to prevent the black marketing and hoarding in their states or UTs, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) said in a statement.

The pharma pricing regulator has also asked states to ensure that there is no violation of provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013, with regard to compliance of ceiling prices/ permissible increase in prices of scheduled/ non-scheduled formulations respectively, it added.

DoP had earlier constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Eswara Reddy, joint drugs controller at CDSCO, to address the issues of drug security in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak in China, the statement said.

The committee, in its report, has mentioned that the current stock-in-hand of the APIs may be sufficient for 2-3 months to make formulations. It also said there is no need to panic as far as drug security is concerned.

“As per the latest available information, most of the Chinese companies manufacturing pharmaceutical ingredients (excluding those in Hubei province) have now resumed operations partially and expected to resume fully by end of March. There are no restrictions on the export of APIs from China,” the statement said.

The Chinese companies are willing to export to India, however, the logistics sector has not yet resumed operations fully, it added.

The government on Tuesday restricted exports of 26 pharma ingredients and medicines, including paracetamol, vitamin B1 and B12, amid the coronavirus outbreak in China.-Business Standard

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