All pharma firms to reduce medicine prices

April 23rd, 2008 - 10:22 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) India will reduce prices of all drugs by nearly five percent and develop injections for combating life threatening infections, the pharmaceutical advisory forum said here Wednesday. “As a result of reduction in excise duty from 16 percent to 8 percent, all drug companies should reduce prices of their medicines by 4.58 percent,” said Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan, who heads the forum.

The forum concluded a two-day meet here Wednesday. State health ministers, drug controllers and representatives from industry, trade, NGOs and consumer organisations participated.

“The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority will start a 24-hour call centre for registering complaints on medicine prices. The call centre will also guide the caller on the complaints lodged by them,” Paswan said.

Naming a few drugs, the minister said generic drugs of Cetrizine, Omeperazole and Nimusilide will be brought under price control.

About new drugs, he said the government-run Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) will launch an over-the-counter oral contraceptive pill for women and a new oral rehydration salt.

New injections for combating life threatening infections would also be launched under the trade name of Halpen, he said.

The minister said that state governments would issue directions to doctors in government hospitals to prescribe mainly generic drugs. To make this effective, one generic drug store would initially be opened in each district. Drugs from public sector pharma companies will be supplied to them, Paswan said.

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