Pressure grows for 35% margin cap for drugmakers in India

The price of drugs in India could fall soon, officials are saying, as the government continues to study a 35% cap on the trading margins of drugmakers. The move is an attempt to cut the sometimes astronomical margins charged by wholesalers, which reach up to 2,000% to 3,000% in some cases, according to a report by IIFL news. The Indian prime minister's office told the country's Department of Pharmaceuticals to address the issue, and the committee reviewing the plan recommended the 35% cap. India's moves to cap prices on essential medicines dates back to at least 2013 when the government imposed caps on drug prices for 652 medicines. In December 2014, the country expanded that list by 52 more drugs including commonly used painkillers and antibiotics, as FiercePharma reported in July 2015. Experts say, however, that India's intention to make more drugs available to people living below the poverty line--which is millions in India--is not really working because those people are using government-run healthcare facilities and a majority of the drugs covered by the price caps are not available at such facilities and thus not available to those using the facilities. IMS research showed price controls had limited impact on improving access. Report