Citizens' Issues
Overpricing of paracetamol slammed by NGO

Mumbai-based SACR has demanded recovery of excess amount earned by GlaxoSmithKline as a result of  overcharging its paracetamol brands-Crocin Advance and Calpol suspension


Mumbai-based NGO, Society for Awareness of Civil Rights (SACR) has, on 29 April 2014 complained to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) about overpricing of paracetamol tablets by a multi-national company (MNC). It said, “GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) is playing with the therapeutic dosage of the paracetamol brands to come out of the DPCO ( Drug Price Control Order) purview and rake in huge profits.” The NGO has demanded recovery of the excess amount earned by GlaxoSmithKline as a result of  overcharging its paracetamol brands-Crocin Advance and Calpol suspension.

GSK, one of the oldest pharmaceuticals and consumer health-care MNC in India, was already on the radar of the drug regulatory bodies for overpricing its paracetamol tablets, Crocin Advance and now Calpol suspension.  It is alleged that various gaps in DPCO 2013 provisions are creating opportunities for the MNCs in the Pharma Industry to play smart hiding under the veil.

Calpol 60 ml, GSK’s paracetamol brand used for relieving pain and fever was issued a “stop sale” order by the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 22 March 2014 for being overpriced. It was priced at Rs32.75 per 120mg/5ml bottle as against the standard rate of Rs20 as mentioned in the DPCO. Around 6,500 bottles of Calpol were seized for not complying with the DPCO price ceiling. Now, Calpol suspension 120ml is under the scanner and the Maharashtra FDA is currently in the process of seizing its stocks.

In response, GSK spokesperson has been quoted in the media as saying, “The underlying principle of the NPPA and DPCO 2013 is to include those medicines that are under National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) having specific strengths and dosage. Calpol suspension of 120 mg/5ml which is available in the market for more than 30 years is not part of National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and hence is outside the purview of DPCO schedule 2013."

In a letter sent to the NPPA Chairman CP Singh on 23 April 2014, RP Yajurvedi Rao, Right to Information (RTI) activist and President of SACR, the NGO states, “We pray and submit that clarification be also issued that the intent of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and DPCO is meant to be followed in the true spirit of the law of the land.” It seems like loopholes in the DPCO 2013 are being manipulated to rake up the profits.

In the past, a similar case of overpricing the Crocin Advance brand of the same company was flagged. In that case, it was sold at Rs2 per tablet whereas the price ceiling mentioned in the DPCO 2013 was Rs0.94/tablet. GSK, in order to escape the price control on its scheduled paracetamol Crocin, discontinued its production and launched a new brand Crocin Advance claiming it to be an “innovation” drug with an advance technology that allows paracetamol to dissolve faster in the blood stream versus any other available brands of paracetamol 500 mg. Based on this claim, GSK saught exemption from price regulation for five years under Para 32 of the DPCO 2013 which mentions “that drugs that have a product/ process patent in India and “new drugs” as per Rule 122E of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 with the proviso that such drugs be developed through indigenous research and development (R&D).”  

NPPA had then ruled that a different manufacturing technology or faster action mode does not qualify for a new drug status denying exemption from price control. Not only DSK but many more companies in the past have exploited the escape route of Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) out of price control in the DPCO 2013. Read: Medicine prices: DPCO loopholes will deny cheaper essential drugs–Part2

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Cera Sanitaryware FY14 net profit up 12% on robust sales

For FY14, Cera Sanitaryware reported a net profit of Rs51.91 crore following a 36% jump in its sales

Cera Sanitaryware reported a full year higher net profit on robust sales growth. Following good FY14 performance, its shares reached its 52-week high at Rs969.75 on BSE on Wednesday.

For the 12 month to end-March, Cera Sanitaryware said its net profit increased 12% to
Rs51.91 crore from Rs46.2 crore while its total revenues, including sales, grew 36% to Rs663.69 crore from Rs487.87 crore, a year ago period.

“Cera has once again demonstrated that it enjoys overwhelming customers' preference and support. This is evident from the fact that our growth has been achieved in spite of market witnessing signs of slowdown,” says Vikram Somany, chairman and managing director, Cera Sanitaryware.

As on 31 March 2014, FII shareholding in Cera Sanitaryware grew to 14.48% from 11.26%, DII shareholding grew to 0.11% from 0.09%, promoter shareholding also increased to 56.10% from 55.51% compared to the same period a year ago. However, public shareholding fell to 29.31% from 33.14% in the year ago period.

During the March quarter, Cera Sanitaryware said its net profit jumped 38.84% to Rs19.34 crore from Rs13.93 crore while its total revenues, including sales, grew 41% to Rs218.19 crore from Rs154.56 crore, same period last year.

Cera Sanitaryware declared a final dividend of 100%.

Cera Sanitaryware closed Wednesday 3.22% up at Rs956.55 on the BSE, while the 30-share Sensex ended the day flat at 22,417.

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CHANDU CHARTIST

3 years ago

BOOK PROFIT IN CERA SANITARY ON EVERY RISE AND SWITCH TO HSIL @ CMP OF 158-160 IT'S REAL VALUE BUY

Shriram City Union Finance FY14 net profit up 16% to Rs521 crore

For FY14, Shriram City Union Finance  reported net profit of Rs521 crore on higher income from other sources

Shriram City Union Finance Ltd (Shriram City), the non-banking financial company (NBFC) of Shriram group, reported a higher net profit for FY2013-14 on increase in its net interest income (NII) and other income.

For the 12 month to end-March, Shriram City said its net profit increased 16% to Rs521 crore from Rs450 crore, despite a marginal 3% growth in its total revenues to Rs3,173 crore from Rs3,071 crore, a year ago period.

During FY14, the lender said its NII increased 10% to Rs1,823 crore from Rs1,661 crore of FY13. While its non-interest income (other income) grew 5.65 times to Rs65.12 crore from Rs11.54 crore a year ago period.

However during FY14, Shriram City Union Finance's employee benefit expenses increased 21% to Rs271 crore from Rs224 crore a year ago. While its total expenses (including provisions of Rs384 crore) increased 10% to Rs1,108 crore from Rs1,007 crore a year ago period.

As on 31 March 2014, Shriram City's coverage ratio stood at 77.55%, gross non-performing assets ratio (GNPAs) stood at 2.67%. Its net non-performing assets (NNPA) stood at 0.60%.

For the quarter to end-March, Shriram City said its net profit increased 17% to Rs147.44 crore from Rs125.72 crore while its net revenues fell 2.63% to Rs804.25 crore from Rs825 crore, same period last year.

As on 31 March 2014, public shareholding in the Shriram City grew to 34.15% from 13.14%, FII shareholding grew to 25.31% from 25.11%, in a same period a year ago. While, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) shareholding fell to 2.98% from 4.34%, promoters' shareholding fell to 37.56% from 57.31%.

During the December quarter, Shriram City made a public issue of secured non-convertible debentures (NCDs) to raise Rs100 crore.

Shriram City Board also approved to sanction up to 65.79 lakh shares having face value of Rs10 each to Piramal Enterprises Ltd at a price of Rs1,200 per share (including a premium of Rs1,190 per share). Read: Piramal Enterprises to acquire 20% stake in Shriram Capital for Rs2,014 crore

Shriram City declared a final dividend of Rs6 per share.

Shriram City closed Wednesday 5.11% up at Rs1,183.05 on the BSE, while the 30-share Sensex ended the day flat at 22,417.

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