New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a new drug pricing policy according to which the Maximum Retail Prices of 348 essential drugs and life-saving medicines will be decided by the government.

The government will decide the prices at which these medicines will be made available to the common public. The number of essential medicines has been increased from 74 to 348. This list includes medicines prescribed for cancer and AIDS including painkillers, steroids and antidepressants.

According to the new policy, average price of these medicines which have been placed in the list will be considered as their MRPs.

The government claims that after the new policy in place, the price of essential medicines will be reduced by 15-20 percent. It is also claimed that the new policy will give a lot of relief to the common people and put a check on the unscrupulous increase in the prices of these medicines.

Earlier in October, the Supreme Court had slammed the Centre amid the reports of sharp rise in the prices of life saving drugs and directed it to present a new drug policy at the earliest.

The government has been asked to produce the new drug policy before the Apex Court on November 27.


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