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NPPA extends revised ceiling price of heparin injections till March, 2022

Gireesh Babu, New Delhi
Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has extended the revised ceiling price of two strengths of heparin injection till March 31, 2022, to ensure continuous availability of the drug during Covid-19 pandemic.

The ceiling prices of heparin injection 5000IU/ml and 1000 IU/ml were first revised upwards by the Authority through an order in June 30, 2020, based on applications from several companies having major market share.

The companies requested for an upward revision of ceiling prices of the drug citing reasons that the cost of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which constitute a major portion of the input cost and mainly imported from China, has risen to a considerable extent making the companies entirely unviable to continue manufacture and formulations.

The companies also contended that over the years the regulated price have decreased whereas there is consistent increase in the imported price of APIs thereby making it commercially unviable for the drug manufacturers to manufacture heparin injections.

The ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW) has included heparin 5000IU/ml as an essential medicine for treatment of Covid-19 patients. Further, reports of shortage have also been received for the injection.

The committee constituted to monitor export/import trends of APIs, formulations and medical devices needed for Covid-19 through its report has informed that there has been considerable increase in price of API heparin when compared to the base year of September, 2018. The committee recommended short term upward price revision of heparin injection.

The NPPA, based on these recommendations, on June 30, 2020, revised the ceiling prices upwards by giving a one time increase of 50 per cent from the existing ceiling price to be applicable up to December 31, 2020. The ceiling price excluding GST was thus fixed as Rs. 24.39 for heparin injection 1000 IU/ml for a unit of 1 ml and Rs. 60.54 for heparin injection 5000 IU/ml for 1 ml.

The revised ceiling price was extended up to March 31, 2021, and again extended till September 30, 2021. In a meeting of the Authority held on September 8, 2021, it noted the opinion of the Committee, in its meeting on September 1, 2021 that “….NPPA may continue with the increased ceiling for heparin injection 5000 IU/ml, to ensure continuous availability of this essential drug. This extension of the ceiling of heparin may be considered for a duration of six months or may be reviewed earlier as deemed fit.”

The Authority, which deliberated on the matter in detail and considered the aspect of availability of heparin injection 1000 IU/ml and heparin injection 5000 IU/ml, a scheduled formulation, especially during the pandemic situation of Covid-29, decided that the revised ceiling price of both the strengths of heparin, further extended up to March 31, 2022 or until further order, whichever is earlier, in public interest.

 

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