Health Secy flags steep markup on three drugs, writes to Centre : The Tribune India

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Health Secy flags steep markup on three drugs, writes to Centre

Health Secy flags steep markup on three drugs, writes to Centre

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Tribune News Service

Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, May 31

Alarming disparities have come to light in the pricing of non-scheduled formulations being sold in the city, raising concerns about unfair trade practices. The Chandigarh Health Department has called upon the Centre to investigate the matter and take appropriate action to address the discrepancies.

In a May 31 letter, UT Health Secretary Yash Pal Garg has highlighted a specific case involving a cough syrup manufactured in Parwanoo, Solan.

Dept smells unfair trade practices

  • These brands fall under the category of non-scheduled formulations, for which there is no control over the setting of MRP
  • UT Health Secretary suspects inflated MRPs may be result of unfair trade practices by manufacturers, dealers, wholesalers, retailers.
  • This situation may extend beyond the three brands, potentially affecting other non-scheduled formulations as well
  • Centre may examine matter and take necessary action against any violations of pricing norms and unfair trade practices, he says

The manufacturer’s price of “Mcain” syrup was a mere Rs 18 per bottle, while it was being sold at the maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs 267 in the market. This was staggering 1383% markup over the manufacturer’s price.

Further investigations conducted by the UT Drug Controller revealed similar pricing discrepancies in two other brands of syrup. “Ricaine” suspension, manufactured in Mohali, Punjab, cost Rs 19 per bottle to the dealer/chemist, but it was being sold at an MRP of Rs 159, amounting to an 837% increase. Similarly, “Sufit-O” suspension, manufactured in Baddi, Solan, was being sourced from the drug maker for Rs 18 per bottle, but sold at an MRP of Rs 160 in the market, signifying an 889% hike.

These brands fall under the category of non-scheduled formulations, for which there appears to be no control over the setting of MRP.

The Health Secretary suspects such inflated MRPs may be the result of unfair trade practices employed by manufacturers, dealers, marketers, wholesalers, and retailers of these non-scheduled formulations. This situation may extend beyond the three brands, potentially affecting other non-scheduled formulations as well.

It has been deliberated the manufacturers and dealers/marketers of these three brands may not have informed the respective State Drug Controllers and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority in New Delhi regarding the MRPs of these non-scheduled formulations. This failure to disclose essential information raises concerns about compliance with pricing regulations.

The central authorities have been urged to examine the matter thoroughly and take necessary action. Additionally, it has been mentioned the UT is in the process of establishing a Pharmaceutical Price Monitoring Resource Unit, with a registered society already in place for this purpose. However, the unit’s operationalisation may take some time.

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