“The current size of Indian pharma market is more than Rs 100,000 crore of which 60 per cent is domestic market and 40 per cent export,” said C P Singh, Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority. At a seminar on drug pricing organised by Consumer Association of India he pointed to the Indian pharmaceutical market being mature enough in terms of product pricing. The government fixes a ceiling price and the companies can price based on the market. The year-on-year increase has been only about 1.8 per cent to 3 per cent. Singh pointed to companies selling drugs with the same composition and dosage under different brand names but priced variably. A list of these has been made and is available on their website.
The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) procures and distributes medicines at nominal prices to the government hospitals and primary health care centres. Rajendra Ratnoo, Managing Director, TNMSC, pointed to the quality check methods adopted. From 2009, 75 products have been black listed due to lack in quality. The current budget of Tamil Nadu has allocated Rs 20 crore to expand this service as ‘Amma Marundagams’ where medicines would be sold at minimal rates. 100 new pharmacies are to be opened and the existing 210 medical shops are also to be converted to this format.