Now, drug-makers cannot suddenly stop production of essential medicines

In case of medicines with more than 50% of market share, the regulator will examine on a case-to-case basis and decide on merit.
For more commonly used medicines, NPPA has asked companies to continue selling such drugs for at least a year.

In a move to ensure availability of essential medicines, including life-saving drugs, the drug pricing authority has come up with new guidelines prohibiting drug-makers from sudden discontinuation of such medicines to circumvent price control regulations.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has drawn a detailed set of norms categorising commonly used medicines based on their sales. It is aimed at ensuring that even if a manufacturer of any essential medicine wants to discontinue production, the drug remains in supply till consumers find an alternative.

For instance, the guidelines say if a drug has a market share of more than 10% and less than 20% and its manufacturer wants to stop selling it in India, the regulator will allow gradual discontinuation but the company will have to continue selling the medicine for at least nine months and not reduce production by more than 40%. Full Story

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