Pharma Industry well prepared for NLEM 2015 & DPCO 2016: Expert
“With NLEM (National List of Essential Medicine) 2015 and DPCO (Drug Price Control Order) 2016, more drugs are likely to come under price control but this will not affect the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The growth trend will be much better as compared to the past,” said a highly placed source from the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI). “In the past, the Pharmaceutical Industry was not well prepared to take the impact of NLEM 2011 and the subsequent DPCO 2013,” added the source. While NLEM is a list of medicines, prepared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which are essential in India, the DPCO is an order issued by the government under the essential commodities act which enables it to fix the prices of essential bulk drugs and their formulations.
The source also told The Dollar Business that the growth rate of the Pharmaceutical Industry fell to 8-10% from 12-15% ever since the DPCO 2013 was implemented in May 2013. As a result of this order, 348 drugs and 652 formulations came under NLEM of 2011 which, where under price control. Because of the price control, pharmaceutical manufacturers who were in to production of these drugs and formulations under the NLEM suffered and the industry on whole suffered a loss of Rs 2,000 crore in 2013-14. “It took almost six months for the industry to recuperate and get adjusted to the new legislation with reference to the drug price control order,” the source said and added “Supply chain was also gearing up as till then the manufacturers did not have much clarity on which products to manufacture and which products to stock more based on the prescription trend.” After more than a year and more after the implementation of DPCO 2013, the industry is now stabilising and has registered growth both in the NLEM and non-NLEM portfolio. Growth for pharmaceuticals will continue as more and more people get health conscious and there is a demographic shift wherein people want to stay healthy and do not want to take time-off from their work. “In the last six months, national consultations for revision of NLEM are over at Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi,” and added “The revision will try to expand the list of essential medicines for our country which will come under the Price Control Order.” The Department of Pharmaceuticals has created three task forces. Under each task force there are sub-groups. Under each sub-group, there are members from industry, academia, government, non-government, NGOs and Patient Groups. Each of them are required to produce a report related to terms of references of these task forces and the report is expected to be ready within three months’ time. The report would deal with major issues like challenges, opportunities, gaps and how these gaps would be addressed in the interest of the public in general and the patients in particular, concluded the source.
This article was published on February 21, 2015.