NEED FOR DRUG PRICE CONTROL IN INDIA
India is one of the developing countries. A substantial proportion of population of this country is largely exposed to the drug market whose purchasing power is extremely low. Around 42% population of this country lives under the National poverty line ($1.25 per day). Vital issue concerning them is to access the health care facility at an affordable cost. Medicine is a part of health care cost and it costs to around 70% to 80% of total cost. Thus, cost of medicine is a governing factor of health care system especially when it comes to price control of health care facilities. To bring down the cost of health care facilities, government spends money for health care facilities. A comparative expenditure made by state government is depicted in this article. NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) is the Indian pharmaceutical pricing regulating authority and it achieves its objectives by implementing the DPCO (Drug Pricing control order). In spite of existence of the DPCO, drastic price variation is observed between the products of same API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) and several factors are responsible for the same. To overcome the stated problem and monopolistic trade practice by patent holder/brand manufacturer, TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Properties Rights) provides Compulsory Licenses which has its unique role to play in affordability of medicines. Essential medicine is a basic requirement of health care system to serve their customers and hence an effective and overt price control on drugs is the need of present. This study will thus try to justify the need to bring NLEM (National List of Essential Medicine) under DPCO.
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