To control overpricing of medicines, the Indian government plans to monitor the selling price of life-saving drugs from 2015.
The verified drugs' packaging will bear two identifying marks: "DPCO Scheduled Drug" quoted in black along and a red patch mentioning the ceiling price.
"The proposal has been discussed with the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution and health ministry. There is overall consensus that there is a need to protect consumer interest in the use of medicines," said an official source, according to a report published in The Times of India.
From 2015, consumers will not be completely dependent on doctors and chemists for buying medicines. If they are being overcharged, they can lodge a complaint with National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority by calling 1800111255 or 1800114424.
Along with a certain number of life-saving drugs, the government is also considering amending the Drug Price Control Order, 2013. This move will subject 100-odd medicines to price control.
The decision has been taken in the wake of a few cases where drug manufacturers were found overcharging consumers for different medicines. This has created a need to draw consumers' attention towards regulated products and their ceiling prices.
"With over 600 scheduled formulations, which translate into more than 6,000 packs of different brands sold across the country, including in rural areas and distant villages, it is very challenging to ensure oversight on price compliance," the official said.