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General
Centre will not take decision that will raise drug price: Modi
17-10-2014

NEW DELHI: The Central Government will not take any decision that would effect a rise in the price of drugs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday.

Modi gave this assurance to a Kerala ministerial delegation headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy which shared with him “apprehensions” that the cost of medicines required for treatment of diseases like cancer, HIV, TB, malaria and diabetes is likely to shoot up.

“There is an apprehension in the country that the prices of essential medicines will shoot up...When we informed this to the Prime Minister, he assured us that no decision would be taken by his government which will pave way for price rise of drugs.

“He has assured us that the Central government will not create a situation for that,” Chandy told reporters here. Kerala Health Minister VS Sivakumar, who was part of the delegation, said when they raised the issue, Modi asked him whether the prices of medicines have gone up.

“I said no. He assured us that it will not happen,” Sivakumar told.

He said the delegation urged the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter and issue orders to the effect that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) internal guidelines issued on May 5, this year and the subsequent order fixing the MRP of 108 drugs by NPPA be restored making it easier for poor patients to access these medicines without much burden.

Congress has targeted Modi for withdrawing the order which empowered drug pricing authority to cap prices of non-essential drugs ahead of his US visit and during his visit deciding to set up in collaboration with the US a high-level working group on intellectual property to sort out issues hampering investments.