Yearbook material Pranab Sen Taskforce and Drug Pricing


Based on the Inputs from a readerDark Knight.

  1. What is National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)?
  2. Recommendations of Pranab Sen
    1. How to regulate drug price?
    2. What about Patented drugs?
    3. Give PSU a chance
    4. Funding
    5. Excise duty reduce
    6. Open Website for public


  • It is an attached office of the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemical.
  • Motto: Affordable medicine for all
  • It enforces the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order [which was, issued under the Essential Commodities Act (ECA).]
  • monitors the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps;
  • It advices Government  on drug policy
  • In 2003 Supreme court passed an order that all essential drugs should remain under price control..
  • Therefore, Government of India set up a Task Force under Dr. Pronab Sen on drug pricing.
  • It submitted its final report in 2005.
  • Then why the hell do we need to study it after 7 years? ans- It becomes an important [yearbook] topic for mains, due to the Glevac Patent Case, which has been in news recently. Crux is: Novartis company was refused the patent of Glevac (anti-cancer) drug in India and the judge said he was concerned with the extreme price of that drug.

Here are the major (and easy to remember) recommendations.

  • Pranab Sen says that No effort should be made to impose a uniform price,.
  • only a ceiling price should be indicated.
  • The ceiling price of essential drugs should normally not be based on cost of production but on readily monitorable market based benchmarks.
  • The drug regulator must maintain a data base of brands and their compositions and no change should be permitted in the composition of a given brand.
  • Price regulation should be on the basis of ‘Essentiality’ of the drug and it should be applied only to formulations and not to upstream products, such as bulk drugs.
  • Drugs and Therapeutics (Regulation) Act (DATA) should be enacted for price control on drugs.
  • Set up National Authority of Drugs and Therapeutics (NADT).
  • Adopt the recommendations of the Mashelkar Committee 2003 i.e The Centre should financially support State Governments to bring their state drug control formations to a threshold level.
  • All patented drugs and formulations should compulsorily be brought under price negotiation prior to the grant of marketing approval. (case CANCER DRUG;GLIVEC PATENT CASE; NOVARTIS;)
  • Insurance companies should be encouraged to extend health insurance covering medicines.


  • The role of PSUs producing drugs should be recognized.
  • All Departments of Central Government must be advised to first procure their drugs from the PSUs at prices approved by NPPA
  • There should be bulk purchases of drugs by Government agencies, cooperatives or consumer bodies through public-private partnership
  • Central Government has set up a National Illness Assistance Fund (NIAF)=  BPL patient is given financial assistance upto Rs.1.50 lakhs.
  • Similarly State Governments should form State illness Funds (SIF)
  • Increase the funding of Pharmaceutical Research and Development Support Fund (PRDSF).
  • Reduce the excise duty on all pharmaceutical products from 16% to 8%.
  • To create public awareness about drug pricing.
  • + use other possible modes of enhancing public awareness like public literatures, booklets, newsletters/magazines etc

which of the following statements are correct?

  1. National Illness Assistance Fund (NIAF) provides monetary relief for occupational hazards faced by workers in coal and asbestos industry.
  2. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) falls under the domain of Health Ministry.


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