Kerala became first State in the country to set up price monitoring and research unit (PMRU) to track violation of prices of essential drugs and medical devices under Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO). The move comes more than five years after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) proposed such system for the States and Union Territories (UTs).
Price Monitoring and Research Unit (PMRU)
NPPA decides ceiling prices and medical devices under Drug (Prices Control) Order. These essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the country’s population. Pharma companies have been accused of overcharging prices of drugs in scheduled category fixed by DPCO and those outside its ambit too. The suggestion to set up PMRUs was made against backdrop of lack of field-level link between NPPA and State Drugs Controllers and State Drug Inspectors to monitor drug prices. NPPA has fixed the prices of around 1,000 drugs and prior to this there was no price review mechanism.
About National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
It is nodal government regulatory agency that controls prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India. It functions under Union Ministry of Chemical and Fertiliser. It advices Central Government in matters relate to drug policies and pricing. It also renders advice to Central Government on changes/ revisions in the drug policy.