New Delhi: The Government proposes to set up drug price monitoring cells across the country to keep a close watch on price movements, collections, monitoring of availability of drugs. A proposal has been received by the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers from National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in which NPPA has proposed for revision or modification of the existing Plan Scheme of Consumer Awareness and Publicity through Print, Electronic and Other Media.
The proposal, inter-Alia, has a component for Setting up Consumer Awareness, Price Monitoring and Resource Units at the States or Union Territories with the objective of forging better linkages with the State Drug Controllers. The Units are expected to provide necessary technical assistance to the State Drug Controllers and NPPA towards monitoring the notified prices of medicines, price movement of scheduled or non-scheduled medicines, collection and compilation of market based data of scheduled or non-scheduled medicines, conducting training, seminars and workshops at the State and District levels for consumer awareness and publicity covering aspects relating to availability of scheduled and non-scheduled medicines at reasonable prices, care to be taken while purchasing the medicines from the chemists or retailers, availability of alternative cheaper medicines, role and function of NPPA, etc. Most of the State Drug Controllers have in-principle supported the proposal for setting up the units at the States / UTs level. The proposal is yet to be placed before the appropriate Committee for approval.