Central govt to study drug pricing in 10 countries to make medicines affordable in India

The objective of the research is to understand the drug pricing methodology adopted in the international market covering at least 10 countries, including China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the United States

Himani Chandna January 15, 2022 15:23:30 IST
Central govt to study drug pricing in 10 countries to make medicines affordable in India

Representational image. Reuters

To make drugs accessible and affordable in India, the Narendra Modi government is set to kickstart a study on drug pricing policies of at least 10 countries, including China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the United States, News18.com has learned. The department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) – under the union ministry of chemicals and fertilizers – has rolled out a tender in search of a reputed company that can conduct the study on behalf of the government.

The objective of the research is to understand the drug pricing methodology adopted in the international market covering at least 10 countries. It also aims to understand the lessons learned or the best practices from various countries (or regions) in terms of the availability and affordability of medicine.

NPPA at the helm

According to the request for proposal (RFP) document labelled ‘Notice Inviting Tenders’, accessed by News18.com, drug pricing watchdog National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) desires to engage reputed firms or research institutions for conducting a study. NPPA is an arm of the DoP.

The title of the document reads “To study the drug pricing policies of different countries/ regions and lessons learned from these countries/ regions in terms of access to medicine at affordable prices”.

The deadline to submit the proposal is February 21, the document states, while shortlisted bidders will be called for presentation on 1 March.

Study will involve secondary sources, top 10 countries selected

The government, according to the document, plans to study regulatory policy or framework on drug pricing of at least 10 countries (or regions), to identify best practices or lessons learned. It also plans to study the operational implementation of the drug pricing policies in different countries apart from studying other policy aspects that impact the availability and affordability of medicine in these countries.

“The minimum ten countries/regions that should be covered are Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, EU, UK, Australia, USA, Brazil, South Africa, and Thailand,” the document states.

The study will primarily be based on secondary sources of data and other information available in public domain. It also involves interviews or focuses group discussions (FGDs) with foreign missions, relevant trade and industry associations, drug exporters, foreign manufacturers to elicit their feedback or views.

According to the 18-page RFP document, the final report after the selection of the firm has to be submitted in four months. “Besides this, quarterly progress shall be submitted by the applicant till the final submission of the report,” it says.

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