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Drug regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the price ceiling of 530 essential medicines, resulting in the reduction in cost of 126 drugs by over 40 percent, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers, said in Rajya Sabha, Friday, the Press Trust of India reports.

"Out of 680 medicines on National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), the drug regulator has fixed the ceiling price of 530 medicines.This has resulted in the price reduction of 126 essential medicines by up to over 40 percent, while the prices of 34 drugs have come down by 35 to 40 percent," the minister said.

He informed that for 26 medicines, the price reduction was between 30 to 35 percent, while the prices of 49 drugs were reduced in the range of 25 to 30 percent.

"We have also reduced the price of 65 medicines by 20 to 25 percent. As many as 43 medicines have witnessed a price reduction in the range of 15 to 20 percent," he added.

The minister said a price reduction of 10 to 15 percent was witnessed for 57 drugs, while the prices of 50 drugs came down by 5 to 10 percent and 80 medicines witnessed a price cut in the range of 0 to 5 percent.

Last week, NPPA reportedly fixed the price of 45 formulation packs, including those used for treating cancer, epilepsy, heartburn, eczema and bacterial infections.

"NPPA has fixed / revised the prices in respect of 45 formulation packs under Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013," the regulator said in a notification on its website.

The companies whose drugs were included for price fixation includes drug majors such as Ranbaxy (now Sun Pharmaceutical Industries), Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Healthcare, Glenmark and Cadila Healthcare, it added.

The drug regulator fixes or revises the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and enforces the prices and availability of the medicines in the country.

It also monitors prices of decontrolled drugs to keep them at reasonable levels.