350 drugs brought under price control: Government of India

New Delhi

Government today said 350 drugs had been brought under price control, providing additional benefit of over Rs 3000 crore to customers, and rejected the charge that costs of some life-saving medicines had “sky-rocketed”.

Chemical and Fertilizer Minister Ananth Kumar told Lok Sabha the government plans to have, in a few years, 3000 Jan Aushadhi centres, where life-saving generic drugs are sold, up from the existing 98 and any member can have 10 such centres in their constituency.

The Centre will also come out with incentives to boost bulk drug industry, he said while noting that 60 percent of drug import costing Rs 12000 crore is from China which he termed as a “health security concern”.

He said the government in the last 10 months had brought about 350 more medicines under price control.

“There is a great misconception. Media has written about it, some members have also said it here that the price of some medicines has sky-rocketed. It is wrong,” he said.

Citing an example, he said it was alleged that the cost of a cancer treatment medicine had risen to Rs 1.08 lakh for 30 tablets from Rs 8500. As of today, its price is Rs 8452, he said.

“Not only that, in the last 10 months nearly 350 more medicines, formulations needed for cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, analgesic… have been brought under drug price control… It has given a benefit of Rs 3000 crore to customers,” he said replying to debate on the Demands for Grants of his ministry which was later approved by a voice vote.

Government has also launched a toll-free number at which anybody can lodge complaint about scarcity, price or quality of any medicine.

Observing that pharma sector is a “sunrise” industry and India was producing 80000 formulation and exporting medicines to over 200 countries, he said his ministry should be named Chemical, Fertilizer and Pharma Ministry.

“I will also request the Prime Minister,” he said.

(Reopen PAR35) Earlier, particpating in the discussion, Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena) demanded that the government revive the sick and closed fertiliser units to increase supply and reduce imports.

Thota Narasimham (TDP) said the use of traditional farming should be encouraged as it would help in restoring the fertility of soil.

K Prabhakar Reddy (TRS) made a case for regulating and monitoring discharge of industrial waste into lakes as it was creating health hazard for the people.

CPI-M member A Sampath suggested that government should ensure free vaccination of children throughout the country.

He also asked the government not to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in pharma sector for taking over domestic drug companies.

Supriya Sule (NCP) said the government should encourage use of generic medicine.

Prem Singh Chandumajra (SAD) asked the government to revive the NFL’s Nangal fertiliser plant to ensure supply of fertilisers to farmers.

Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) said that government should take steps to check black marketing of fertilisers.

Others who participated in the debate included Rama Devi, Bhairon Prasad Mishra, Chandu Lal Sahu, Dharambir, Daddan Mishra (all BJP), Bhagwant Mann (AAP), Varaprasad Rao Velagapalli (YSRCP) and Arun Kumar (RLSP).


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