Check availability of pharma items: Centre tells states

Centre asks states to monitor availability of pharma ingredients

 Salesmen at a chemist shop wear protective masks, in wake of the deadly novel coronavirus, outside Safdarjung Hospital, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The Centre on Tuesday said it has instructed the states to monitor the production and availability of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and their formulations to prevent black marketing and hoarding.

"The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is monitoring the situation regularly to ensure that ceiling prices of essential medicines are not breached and are available uninterruptedly," Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizer D V Sadananda Gowda informed Lok Sabha.

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Replying to a question from Kirti Vardhan Singh (BJP) and Mala Roy (TMC), the Minister also clarified that his ministry has not received any reference regarding a sudden increase in the price of paracetamol by 40% and azithromycin by 70% in the country.

The All Indian Origin Chemists & Distributors Ltd. - Advanced Working, Action & Correction System (AIOCD AWACS) has reported increase in drug prices for the month ending February, 2020, at 0.6 %, he said.

The NPPA is monitoring the prices of medicines on a regular basis to check the overcharging by pharmaceutical companies. If any company found overcharging a medicine above the ceiling price notified by the NPPA, the authority will take action against such companies, the Minister said.

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