India drug price chief sacked as essential drug prices rise

The head of India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority was removed from the job just a week after his agency allowed the prices of 509 essential drugs to increase by 3.8%.

Former India NPPA chairman Injeti Srinivas

Ironically, the removal of Chairman Injeti Srinivas more likely was the result of complaints from the industries he oversaw, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, both of which objected to recent moves he made that cost them money.

It may have been the NPPA's tactics of threatening "further action" if recalcitrant companies failed to provide demanded data on time or, in the case of devices, fail to provide a mountain of data after they protested price controls.

Srinivas was transferred to the job of director general of the Sports Authority of India and, according to the Times of India, is to keep some of his NPPA responsibilities until "alternative arrangements are made."

Meanwhile, as of April 1, the suppliers of the 509 price-controlled drugs on the nation's essential list of 680 formulations are allowed to increase their prices by as much as 3.8%. The impact of the increase would be significant for many of the more expensive drugs on the list.

The percentage increase was selected based on the nation's wholesale price index, which increased by 3.84% last year.

- here is the NPPA list
- plus a story from Times of India and related news from The Hans India