Govt removes price cap on innovative drugs for first 5 years
The government on Thursday exempted innovative medicines developed by foreign companies from price control for five years, giving Indian patients access to drugs that are currently only available abroad. These include orphan drugs that are used for treating rare medical conditions.

In amendments to the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers exempted producers of new drugs patented under the Indian Patent Act, 1970 (39 of 1970) from price regulation for a period of five years from the date of commencement of its commercial marketing by the manufacturer in the country.

The move will restrict the government from putting expensive drugs under price control regardless of a public health emergency, according to an expert.

DPCO lays down the rules for regulating the prices of medicines through a National List of Essential Medicines, known as Schedule-I of DPCO. While any medicine that is included in Schedule-I automatically qualifies for price control, DPCO earlier exempted patented medicines that have been developed “indigenously” for a period of five years.

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