Pharma companies asked to reduce prices

December 15th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) Monday asked pharmaceutical companies to reduce prices by 2.84 percent following a cut in excise duty on medicine.The NPPA, a government agency set up to check selling of drugs at exorbitant prices, had recently cut excise duty on medicines from 8 percent to 4 percent.

It has now asked all pharma manufacturers to ensure that the benefit of the excise duty reduction and the reduced rate of abatement is passed on to the consumers by lowering the retail price of their products.

Abatement is the reduction in benefit payments when additional income is being earned through work.

The NPPA decision is expected to impact major pharma giants such as GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Eli Lilly and Pfizer, among others.

When contacted, a senior NPPA official said there exists a huge differences in prices of imported drugs and those produced by domestic firms.

Most imported drugs come under the category of prescription-based sales, making their prices higher than those of the local variants, the official added.

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