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National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
On August 29, 1997, the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, now known as the Department of Pharmaceuticals, established the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority as an auxiliary office (as of July 2008). It is in charge of regulating medicine prices in the country and making sure that they are easily accessible, reasonably priced, and available to all of the population.
During the crisis of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic in the country, the NPPA actively participated in efforts to cap the prices of a variety of pharmaceuticals, ventilators, and other products that were beneficial in treating the affected patients.
What is meant by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)?
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, was established by the Indian government in 1997 to serve as an independent regulator for drug pricing and to ensure the accessibility and availability of medicines at reasonable costs.
It was formed to enforce the pricing and availability of medicines in the nation and to fix or revise the prices of restricted bulk pharmaceuticals and formulations under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995–2013.
The chemical molecule in a pharmaceutical that gives the product its purported therapeutic effect is known as a bulk medication, sometimes referred to as an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API).
Significance of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
There are some significances of NPPA as given below-
It was crucial throughout the outbreak because it allowed the general public to afford and access pharmaceuticals and medical supplies by stabilizing the cost of these items.
It requires the drug supplier to set drug prices no higher than MRP.
The NPPA ensures this and sets price caps to make a small number of essential pharmaceuticals widely available to the public since some medications and drugs are essential and should be provided to people at a low cost.
In order for every citizen of the nation to easily afford and have access to some necessary pharmaceuticals, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority makes sure that their prices are fixed.
Functions of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
There are some functions of NPPA as given below-
Utilizing the power entrusted to it, administer and execute the DPCO's (Drugs Price Control Order) 1995–2013 regulations.
To conduct and/or sponsor relevant studies regarding the price of prescription drugs and formulas.
It constantly monitors the availability of drugs, looks for any shortages, and responds as necessary.
To collect and store data on manufacturing, exports, imports, market shares of particular companies, profitability of businesses, etc. for formulation and bulk pharmaceuticals.
To deal with any legal problems brought on by the authority's rulings.
To offer direction to the federal government for updating or changing its drug policy.
supporting the Central Government on parliamentary drug pricing-related problemsto recruit and hire officers, as well as other Authority employees, in compliance with the rules and policies established by the government.
The NPPA is responsible for bringing bulk drug and formulation pricing under control and establishing national standards for drug prices and accessibility. It also monitors their expenses to maintain affordable drug pricing. The government is attempting to establish a distinct line between them in order to guarantee that both businesses and consumers gain. For such policies to be viable and sustained, they must be put into action. Only the prices of scheduled drugs, which make up roughly 16–17% of the pharmaceutical market, are regulated by the NPPA. DPCO's first schedule for 2013 includes a few drugs used to treat cancer. Long-standing arbitrary pricing practices have resulted in huge markups in the "non-scheduled" category, which has felt the necessity for additional regulation.
Q1. What is the function of NPPA?
Ans. The Drugs Price Control Order's provisions must be put into effect and enforced by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) (DPCO). Additionally, it is in charge of controlling drug pricing, dealing with legal issues, and monitoring drug availability and shortages.
Q2. What is Price Monitoring and Resource Unit (PMRU)?
Ans. The NPPA has established Price Monitoring and Resource Units in a number of Indian states and union territories. The purpose of this project is to manage and broaden the NPPA's reach across the nation by empowering state/UT PMRUs to keep an eye on pricing and other pertinent issues.
Q3. Why is NDC important in pharmacy?
Ans. Drugs are identified and reported using a unique, three-segment number called the National Drug Code (NDC) which serves as the FDA's identifier for drugs. FDA publishes the listed NDC numbers in the NDC Directory which is updated daily.
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