Novartis India gets reprieve from NPPA on fine for over-pricing drug

India High Court Justice Mukta Gupta

Novartis ($NVS) India received a reprieve from a High Court in Delhi to pay the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority's (NPPA) about $212,000 as part of a case of selling Regestrone at a higher than allowed price, the Business Standard newspaper reported.

The case is from 2013, but is seen as part of a broader effort by India proposed in April to bring all drugs sold in the country under NPPA price controls, now limited to 509 drugs on the nation's list of essential drugs.

The plan is almost the exact opposite of China, which has moved to remove price controls in order to spur innovation and manufacturing safety.

By contrast, the NPPA has said that several of India's largest drugmakers are among at least 59 facing possible court action by regulators claiming they failed to register under a new information system of the nation's price-control agency. A few multinationals are also on the list.

The NPPA is getting ready to inaugurate its Integrated Pharmaceutical Database Management System that relies on companies filling online forms for each of their drugs and supplying documents outlining the cost of producing a drug.

In the Novartis India case, Justice Mukta Gupta said the payment is delayed until at least the next hearing date scheduled on July 25.

Novartis, according to Business Standard, claimed the government had given it leeway to sell at a higher price for a specified period and that it had complied.

- here's the story from Business Standard