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NPPA releases provisional ceiling price for drugs ahead of GST roll-out

28 June 2017

The National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority of India (NPPA) on Tuesday released the provisional ceiling price of 761 price-controlled drugs, ahead of the 1 July roll-out of the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

NPPA announced provisional cap prices for 761 medicines including HIV, diabetes, cancer and vaccines, while keeping the prices for insulin (soluble), Ibuprofen, cyclosporine, eluting drug stents and vaccines unchanged.

"There won't be a change in stent prices. In the case of scheduled drugs, we have released a provisional list that will give the companies an idea of the prices," said NPPA chairman Bhupendra Singh.

The ceiling price set by NPPA excludes trade margins and GST tax. "We are also giving the companies the opportunity to give us feedback before the government finalises the ceiling price," Singh added. The final list of prices will be released once feedback is received from the companies.

The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has assured NPPA that they will maintain a smooth supply of the drugs ahead of the GST roll-out.

Accordingly, the price of the anti-cancer drug Bortezomib has been brought down to Rs11,160.08 from Rs11,636.60 per pack. The price of Docetaxel has been fixed lower at Rs10,326.94 against Rs10,767.88. The price cap for Trastuzumab injection pack might come down to Rs54,582.25 from Rs56,912.83 per pack.

Diabetes: The prices for Metformin Controlled Release Tablet (1000 mg) has been fixed lower at Rs3.31 per tablet against existing Rs3.45 per tablet. Metformin Immediate Release Tablet 500 mg will cost Rs1.36 against the current price of Rs1.42 per tablet.

HIV: The price cap for HIV combination drugs such as Tenofovir (300mg) and Efavirenz (600mg) has been fixed at Rs89.69 per tablet, against Rs93.52 per tablet earlier. The price of Darunavir will be Rs151.4 per tablet against existing Rs157.93 a tablet. The cost of one tablet of Lamivudine and Zidovudine combination will be Rs18.20 against the current price of Rs18.98

Overall, there has been a decrease in the prices of drugs as per the new GST rule. However, the prices of some medications, including insulin (soluble), Ibuprofen, Hydrocortisone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, 2 Heparin, Azathioprine and Cyclosporine, remain unchanged.

The prices drug eluting stents and vaccines such as hepatitis B vaccine, DPT vaccine, DPT + Hib + Hep B vaccine.

Most of the drugs will fall under the 12 per cent GST bracket, but certain life-saving drugs are in the 5 per cent tax slab, according to the new GST price slab.

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