On July 1, India's new Drug Pricing Control Order (DPCO) 2013 replaced the 1995 version. Under this new regime, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy 2012 will regulate prices of 348 drugs covered under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011 compared with 74 drugs in the former list. Adopting the market-based price mechanism, the policy is based on the simple average price for all brands with a market share above 1% in their segment.
Impact on consumersWhile consumers could potentially benefit from price cuts, it may not necessarily lead to easy medicines access, which is based on patients' socioeconomic strata, Amit Backliwal, general manager of IMS Health, South Asia, told Pharmaceutical Technology. The effect will not be as pronounced for those in the upper strata who can afford the pre-2013 DPCO prices; whereas, patients who are on the other end of the spectrum will continue to be unable to afford the medicines even after the revision. Only the middle-income groups will reap maximum benefits from the changes of the new drug-pricing policy.