The drug pricing regulator — the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) — on Thursday held a conference with several state drug controllers to discuss setting up of a monitoring unit in their states to ensure pricing compliance by medicine manufacturers, according to a health ministry official.

The body, to be called Price Monitoring and Resource Unit (PMRU) , will also work to develop synergy between the central and state authorities.

“The idea is to establish a society to monitor due implementation of the regulations coming from NPPA. As of now the authority does not have adequate infrastructure, but with this the states will be empowered to ensure compliance,” said the health ministry official.

These units will provide technical assistance to state regulators. Their task will include monitoring the notified prices of medicines; price movement, collection and compilation of market-based data of scheduled and non-scheduled formulations, detection of violation of the provisions of Drug Price Control Order; pricing compliance; collecting test samples of medicines; conducting training, seminars and workshops at the state and district levels for consumer awareness.

The idea to have such an authority in place in the states has been lingering on for long.

A task force, created to look into the matter, in its 2005 report had also strongly recommended the setting up of a dedicated drug price monitoring cell in each of the major states.

The notification was issued by NPPA in 2015. However, only Kerala has set up a unit so far.

First Published: Jan 11, 2019 12:32 IST

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