Drug prices revised, Wockhardt to gain

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, or NPPA, has been active in 1999, with two major price revisions in the first eight months. Amidst controversy, the NPPA has either revised or fixed prices of 65 formulation packs so far.

The latest notification, issued on 10 August 1999, effects price revision for 32 formulation packs with price increases for 12 formulation packs ranging from 0.56 per cent to 26.53 per cent. Prices have been fixed for the first time in the case of four formulations, and prices of 16 formulations have been revised downwards in the range of 24.33 per cent and 75.27 per cent.

Wockhardt is the main beneficiary in the latest exercise, with NPPA increasing prices of four brands, Spasmoproxyvon, Proxyvon, Ibuproxyvon and Proxy.

Prices of Proxyvon and Spasmoproxyvon capsules have been increased by 26.53 per cent and 24.47 per cent respectively. Spasmoproxyvon would now cost Rs 10.73 for a strip of eight capsules, while Spasmoproxyvon will be sold at Rs 11.09 for a strip of eight capsules. These are Wockhardt's top selling brands, and, according to IMS, 1999 moving annual turnover estimates are Rs 22.08 crore for Spasmoproxyvon, and Rs 12.32 crore for Proxyvon.

Similarly, the prices of Ibuproxyvon capsules and Proxy tablets have been increased by 18 per cent to Rs 9.61 for a strip of eight capsules and Rs 8.13 for 10 tablets, respectively.

In the case of anti-tuberculosis drug rifampicin, the NPPA has marginally raised the prices by 2.06 per cent from Rs 50.95 to Rs 52 for a pack of 10 coated tablets.