Cipla considering price cuts on more cancer drugs

After receiving good response on its price cut for its generic cancer drugs, Cipla is thinking to reduce prices of some more medicines used to treat cancer from its portfolio of 23 drugs

Mumbai: Generic drugmaker Cipla is looking into cutting prices of more cancer drugs after it slashed the prices last week of three treatments by up to 75%, said YK Hamied, the company's chairman and managing director, in an interview, reports PTI.

He said the unexpected response to its move last week to cut the price of its generic version of Bayer's kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar and two other drugs had prompted him to consider further such moves.

"I am now sitting with my boys to see what reductions we can make in the entire range of cancer drugs. We are making some calculations about pricing, costing and other aspects," he said.

Cipla makes 23 cancer drugs.

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About 29 thermal plants with less than one week's coal

New Delhi: Coal stock position at the thermal power stations in the country continue to be critical with as many as 29 plants receiving less fuel, leaving them with stocks for less than a week, reports PTI.

As per latest data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data, 29 power plants across the country have less than seven days of fuel stock including 14 stations that have only less than four days of stock.

Of the 29 stations, 10 received less fuel  while another two are reeling under inadequate fuel linkages. However, the reasons for this situation have not been mentioned in the report.

State-run NTPC's thermal plants at Kahalgaon (Bihar) and Farakka (West Bengal) continue to witness inadequate coal linkage as expansion of mining capacity of Rajmahal mines in Jharkhand, which feed these plants, is still underway. Over 30 thermal power stations faced critical fuel stocks position last month.

"The impact of lesser fuel stocks may not impact power generation currently but if it continues for a long time it may lead to some serious implications," a CEA official told PTI.

On the reasons for less coal supplies at some plants, the official said, "We receive the data from the power companies regarding receipt of fuel stocks. Why they received less coal can be known from the source (Coal India) only".

NTPC which currently generates over 37,000 Mw plans to augment its capacity to about 70,000 Mw in the next five years.

The government has also proposed to add 100,000 Mw of electricity in the next five years, from all sources of energy.

According to Planning Commission estimates, the country's energy supply needs to grow at 6.5% a year if the nation has to achieve annual economic growth of 9% during the current plan period (2012-17).

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Muttemwar panel seeks CBI probe in future trade irregularities

Powerful traders, who indulged in malpractices, neither have any fear of the FMC, nor are they bothered by the fine that can be imposed upon them, which has caused irregulatities of about Rs4,000 crore, the parliamentary panel said

Nagpur: A Parliamentary Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, headed by Vilas Muttemwar, Congress MP from the city, has recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and malpractices in the national and regional commodity exchanges across the country, reports PTI.

The standing committee, which placed its 18th report in the Parliament last week, said that those powerful traders, who indulged in malpractices, neither have any fear of the Forward Market Commission (FMC), nor are they bothered by the fine that can be imposed upon them.

"Therefore, The committee recommended that the FMC should seriously consider that cases of malpractices noticed in the national and regional commodity exchange should be handed over to the CBI for proper and thorough investigation, which will help in bringing offendeRsto justice,"  Muttemwar told PTI.

Sources close to the standing committee said that the alleged irregularities and malpractices is to the tune of nearly Rs4,000 crore.

Mr Muttemwar, who is also the AICC general secretary, said that despite the regulatory mechanism in the FMC in place, there were reported cases of trading irregularities and market manipulations.

The standing committee received complaints in December 2010 regarding the irregularities in National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE), Ahmedabad and was investigated and certain malpractices of the anchor promoter of NMCE were detected.

In its report, the Muttemwar Panel said that after the malpractices were detected, appropriate directions were given to the Board of Exchange for taking further steps as per the law. Recently, the FMC barred five brokers for a period of one year for allegedly indulging in irregularities in guar gum and guar seed trade that led to two-fold price rise since November 2011.

FMC, under the aegis of Consumer Affairs Ministry oversees the functioning of five national and 16 regional exchanges. The combined turnover of the commodity exchanges is to the tune of Rs181.26 lakh crore, which is 52% higher than the last fiscal.

Committee sources further said that four known companies are invovled in the scam running into more than Rs4,000 crore. The report said that about 4,490 traders minted money and about 9,254 suffered losses. These companies manipulated prices up and down between October 2011 and March this year.

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