NPPA revises prices of drugs: 62 medicines to cost more, 14 will be cheaper

Drugs for diabetes costlier by 5%-18%, some bulk drugs to cost more too, those for TB only marginally costlier, but medicines for asthma and hypertension will be cheaper

New Delhi: Prices of 62 drugs, mainly used for treating diabetes and tuberculosis, have been raised, while the rates of 14 other medicines have been reduced by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). But the drug pricing regulator has left the prices of 21 drugs unchanged after a fresh review of the pricing of key medicines at its meeting last week.

PTI reports that the NPPA, which considered the rates of 19 drugs for the first time, reviewed the prices of drugs used in the treatment of diabetes, allergy, malaria, diarrhoea, asthma and hypertension as well as some antiseptics.

"We have to do a balancing act and provide a level playing field to the indigenous manufacturers who account for nearly 10% of the total domestic market for insulin," NPPA chairman SM Jharwal said.

He said that despite the increase in prices of insulin-based medicines, drugs for treatment of diabetes manufactured by two domestic firms, Biocon and Wockhardt, would still remain affordable. "Although the prices of indigenously manufactured insulin-based formulations have been increased in the range of 5%- 18%, they would still be lower by nearly 15% than the formulations based on the imported bulk insulin drug," Mr Jharwal said.

On the decision to increase prices, NPPA said raw material cost and revision in the norms of conversion cost, packing charges and pricing of packaging materials as notified on 16 December 2010 necessitated the move. Among the companies that would be affected by the price revision are Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, GSK, Biocon, Wockhardt, Lupin and Cipla.

The NPPA also revised the prices of four bulk drugs, following which diuretic spironolactone and salbutamol sulphate will be cheaper by 2.5% and 18.87%, respectively. According to it, the bulk drug pyrantel pamoate (used in formulations of de-worming medicines) and anti-allergic pheniramine maleate will be costlier by 8.12% and 13.87%, respectively.

The reduction in prices of formulation drugs has been in the range of 2.47% to 35.04% from the prices claimed by the respective companies.

There is no significant increase in the price of 25 anti-tuberculosis drugs, while sulphadoxine plus pyrimethamine tablets will cost more due to an upward revision in the import price of bulk drugs used for malaria. The prices of certain drugs used for asthma and hypertension have been reduced.

The NPPA was established on 29 August 1997 as an independent body of experts to fix and revise drug prices, both for bulk drugs and formulations, and to ensure their availability.


IDBI Mutual Fund floats Short Term Bond Fund

IDBI Mutual Fund new issue closes on 22nd March

IDBI Mutual Fund has launched IDBI Short Term Bond Fund, an open-ended income scheme.

The objective of the scheme will be to provide investors with regular income for their investment. The scheme will endeavour to achieve this objective through an allocation of the investment corpus in a diversified portfolio of debt and money market instruments.

The new issue closes on 22nd March. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Gautam Kaul is the fund manager.


ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund introduces 367 days fixed maturity plan

ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund new issue closes on 23rd March

ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund has launched ICICI Prudential Fixed Maturity Plan-Series 56-1 Year Plan B, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the plan is to seek to generate regular returns by investing in a portfolio of fixed income securities/debt instruments maturing on or before the maturity of the plan under the scheme. The tenor of the scheme is 367 days.

The new issue closes on 23rd March. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

Crisil Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Chaitanya Pande is the fund manager.


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