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Govt Expands Committee for Drug & Medical Device Pricing Reforms

Written by : Jayati Dubey

April 25, 2024

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The committee aims to reform the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and balance essential medicine pricing and availability.

The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has announced the expansion of the committee tasked with examining pricing reforms for drugs and medical devices.

The move comes in response to a circular issued by the Ministry, admitting various industry bodies into the committee, as reported by officials.

The committee, originally constituted by the Department of Pharmaceuticals on March 12, will now include representation from prominent industry bodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), among others.

Objective & Terms of Reference

The committee's primary objective is to discuss institutional reforms within the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and explore strategies to balance the price and availability of essential medicines.

Additionally, the committee will focus on providing incentives to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to sustain growth and enhance exports.

Anil Matai, director general of OPPI, emphasized the importance of a balanced approach to price review within the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.

Matai stated that a diverse range of stakeholders' participation in the decision-making process is crucial for achieving this balance.

Satyaki Banerjee, executive director & group COO, Trivitron Healthcare, said, "With broader representation, the committee is poised to develop a more inclusive pricing strategy that addresses the needs and concerns of all stakeholders involved."

Focus on Medical Devices

The committee will also examine the design of a price moderation framework for medical devices, with a focus on minimizing imports and providing incentives to the medtech industry.

Medical device associations such as the Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) and the Association of Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) have been invited to participate in the committee to present the views of the MedTech industry.

Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator of AiMeD, emphasized the significance of including MedTech bodies in the committee. Nath expressed satisfaction that the Indian government plans to review regulations controlling drug prices, which will now encompass medical devices as well.

Nath highlighted the industry's demand for separate rules governing medical devices, advocating for regulations that prevent companies from artificially inflating prices on medical device labels.

"This practice hurts honest manufacturers and marketing companies. Instead, we want fair competition based on the real value of the products, not inflated prices," he added.

The expansion of the committee to include representation from industry bodies reflects the government's commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration to address pricing reforms in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.

With a diverse range of stakeholders now involved, the committee is poised to develop comprehensive strategies that benefit all stakeholders while ensuring the availability and affordability of essential healthcare products.

In another development in the medical device sector, just days back, AiMeD set ambitious goals to triple the country's exports of medical devices to Russia within the next five years through collaborative efforts between the two nations.

This initiative follows a recent online meeting where representatives from both countries explored opportunities for manufacturing and marketing life-saving medical equipment and devices.


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