Paswan caps drug prices

New Delhi: To curb the high trade margins in the pharmaceuticals market, the government has decided to set a margin of 50 per cent (35 per cent for retailers and 15 per cent for wholesalers) on generic drugs and 30 per cent (10 per cent and 20 per cent) on branded drugs in the non-scheduled category.

In the case of scheduled drugs, the current norms — 8 per cent for the wholesale trade and 16 per cent for retailers — will continue.

Addressing the media at the economic editors' conference in the capital on Wednesday, the minister for chemicals, fertiliser and steel, Ram Vilas Paswan, said the Sandhu Committee, which was set up recently to look into the "span of control", had submitted its interim report with the above recommendation. The final report is due next month.

Apart from the margins, the committee has recommended that whenever a new drug is patented after January 2005, its price should be negotiated to keep it at a reasonable level.