COST ANALYSIS OF COMMONLY USED DRUGS UNDER PRICE CONTROL IN INDIA: ASSESSING THE EFFECT OF DRUG PRICE CONTROL ORDER ON BRAND PRICE VARIATION
Keywords:Pharmacoeconomics, Price control, Brands, Price variation, Essential medicines
Objective:Â Rising cost of medical therapy is a major concern for patients, and there is high variability in the prices of numerous branded medicines available in India. Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013 was implemented by the government of India with the aim of bringing down the cost of essential medicines. This cost analysis study was carried out to assess the brand price variation in major classes of common drugs under price control; thus assessing the impact of DPCO and analyse issues related to it.
Methods: Latest price list of available brands for cardiovascular drugs, antibacterial, analgesics, drugs for diabetes, asthma, arthritis, convulsions covered under the DPCO, was procured from a leading commercial drug directory. Unit prices of drug formulations available as different brands were compared. Maximum-minimum prices and average prices were found. Price variations between brands were calculated and expressed as percentage variations. Assessment of existing pricing policy and quality norms was done.
Results: Significant inter-brand price variations were found for the majority of formulations. These variations ranged from more than 100 % from average to more than 500 % between maximum and minimum brand prices for drugs like amlodipine, atorvastatin, diclofenac, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, clopidogrel. Out of 60 formulations observed, 40 showed price variations in excess of 50 % from average price and 23 showed variations greater than 200 % between the costliest and cheapest brands.
Conclusion: Despite the implementation of price control, brand price variations still exist widely for commonly used drugs. Re-assessment of pricing policy and implementation of quality norms is needed.
Keywords: Pharmacoeconomics, Price control, Brands, Price variation, Essential medicines
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