Price of life saving drugs to come down after GST roll-out

Price of life saving medicines – including the drugs to treat HIV, cancer, Crohn’s disease, pneumonia among others – will come down as pharma pricing regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has stepped in to keep the medicines affordable after the GST roll-out on July 1.

It is pertinent to mention that after the GST rollout, the price of a number of drugs would increase as around 80 per cent drugs have been put in the 12 per cent tax bracket, up from the current 9 per cent slab. The increase in price of these drugs, after the GST roll-out, would be marginal. But life-saving drugs, however, have been put in 5 per cent GST bracket.

According to reports, the NPPA has notified the revised ceiling prices of 761 drugs which are part of the Schedule-1 of the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013. NPPA notification means reduction in prices of the life saving drugs. Accordingly, prices of the most of the life saving drugs will come down by a few hundred rupees.

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The prices of stents will not increase under the GST regime as the NPPA has kept the prices of drug eluting stents at Rs 30,800 and bare metal stents at Rs 7,400. Prices of immunosuppressants like cyclosporine and drugs to treat leukaemia will remain unchanged. Prices of Erythropoietin, Filgrastim and Hepatitis-B vaccine will also remain the same.

The NPPA list has deducted the excise duty element and VAT from the existing ceiling price of the drugs. In the case of scheduled drugs, where companies have been exempted from paying the excise duty, the NPPA has not revised the ceiling price.

Deepanth Roychowdhury, president of Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA) was quoted as saying, “Ceiling prices of scheduled formulations have come down and are on expected lines.”

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