New Delhi: Leading pharmaceutical industry bodies have criticised the draft National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy (NPPP) 2011 saying it is short sighted and does not consider the long-term availability of drugs.

The Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) and Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) said when government is reducing controls in all sectors, the pharma sector should also be opened to competition.

"It should have focused on generating adequate surplus for the industry to develop new products and to create capacities to meet the demand growth. However, the proposed draft Policy seems to have ignored need for ensuring long-term availability in favour of short-term benefit of ensuring access," IPA Secretary-General DG Shah said.

The draft NPPP, 2011 proposes to regulate prices of drug formulations only, unlike the existing principle of controlling prices of specified bulk drugs and their formulations as adopted in drug policy, 1994.

This was done as it was felt that the price control in the form of formulations is better for the consumer who isactually affected only by the price of the final end product- formulation.

Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) President NR Munjal, however said: "It is not a very welcome move either from the point of the view of the industry or of the consumers. Without changing the DPCO (Drug Price Control order) rules, it will not have the desired results".

The draft policy also seeks to bring 60 percent of total domestic pharmaceutical market amounting to nearly Rs 29,000 crore under price control. The draft policy proposed that all the 348 drugs specified in the National List of Essential Medicines 2011 will be under price control.

(Agencies)