Committee to overhaul drug price control mechanism should be chaired by independent expert: Pradeep S Mehta

The Economic Times, March 22, 2024

Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International is of the opinion that the committee formed to overhaul drug price control mechanism should be chaired by an independent expert. He was reacting to a media report on the formation of a high-level committee to revisit and potentially overhaul the existing Drug Price Control Order, 2013.

Mehta was apprehensive of the fact that the said committee will comprise of officials from the Department of Pharmaceuticals, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), and industry representatives. “How can a committee to review and overhaul something so important can be manned by only the nodal department, the authority itself, and the related industry,” asked Mehta.

According to him, in order to avoid its recommendations being influenced by the vested interests, the committee must also include representatives from consumer organisations, public health advocacy groups and academic experts as its members. “In particular, it should not be chaired by Secretary, D/o Pharmaceuticals, but by some eminent academic expert,” added Mehta.

There have been media reports that the central government is considering to overhaul the present drug pricing mechanism for which a high-level committee has been formed. Reportedly, the said committee comprises of senior officials from the D/o Pharmaceuticals, the NPPA and industry representatives.

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