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APDCA asks customers to register complaints if pharmacies overcharge drug prices set by NPPA
A Raju, Hyderabad - Monday, July 2, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]
The Andhra Pradesh Drug Control Administration (APDCA) authorities, with an aim to create awareness among the general public about low prices of generic drugs fixed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority’s (NPPA), are inviting complaints from the general public against pharmacy stores charging excess prices for generic medicines beyond the maximum retail price set by the NPPA.

As there have been complaints received by the APDCA that some of the pharmaceutical companies are charging higher prices for generic medicines, the drug control wing has been advising the pubic to check the maximum retail price written on the strips of the medicines and compare it with that of the prices listed by the NPPA. “Recently the NPPA has developed an application called ‘Pharma Sahi Daam’, using this application the customers can cross-check the actual price of the drug. If there is any company violating the NPPA order then we will book cases against the companies and pharmacy stores owners for selling drugs for excess prices,” informed B. Suresh, Deputy Director of Drug control Department.

According to drug control officials, there have been lot of cases coming to their notice that some of the pharma companies are resorting to violation of NPPA rules and printing excess MRPs on the medicine strips. In view of this, the DCA officials have taken it seriously and they have already filed criminal cases against five pharmaceutical companies based in North India for printing higher MRP on the strips contrary to the price determined by the NPPA.

The DCA officials while explaining the similarities between the generic and branded drugs said that generic medicine is a pharmaceutical drug that is equivalent to a brand-name product in dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, performance and intended use, but the only difference is that it does not carry the brand name.

The generic drug has the same active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) as the original, but may differ in characteristics such as manufacturing process, formulation, excipients, colour, taste and packaging.

The officials explained that inventors of medicines can enjoy patent rights on their products up to 20 years and thereafter law allows it to become generic and any one can manufacture the drug by taking permission from the DCA. “In India, patented drugs are hardly about 1 per cent that is invented within India; more than 99 per cent drugs are generic. Therefore people are welcome to lodge their complaints with the DCA if any discrepancies are found with regard to MRP printed on the strip compared to the NPPA rates,” informed the Deputy Director.

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