Price Monitoring and Resource Unit, (PMRU) of Drugs & Food Control Organization (DFCO), J&K today organised stakeholders workshop for price regulation at Conference Hall, Canal Road here.The objective of the program was to create general awareness about fixation of ceiling Prices under NLEM 2022-ensuring affordability among the stakeholder’s, drug price control mechanism and monitoring, need and importance of establishment of PMRU across the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
Speaking during the workshop, Secretary Health, Bhupinder Kumar, who was chief guest on the occasion, emphasized that price regulation has a direct bearing upon making patient care affordable. He said that 34-42% of expenses incurred on healthcare is contributed to purchase of medicines.
The Secretary solicited close co-ordination between all stakeholders to share their observations through PMRU so that National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority can come forward to exercise check over price rise. He highlighted the importance of awareness to disseminate the information related to this initiative.
The Secretary further stressed that awareness camps should be organized on regular basis across the union territory so that common masses shall avail benefits through it. He added that mobile applications designed and developed by NPPA like “Pharma Sahi Dam‟ and “Pharma Jan Samadhan‟ and Integrated Public Database Management System (IPDMS) should be popularized through social media and other means.
Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner, Food & Drug Administration, J&K, Shakeel-ul Rehman, highlighted the human angle associated with the initiative. He said whoever comes in between patient care and price should be identified and penalized.
In her welcome address, State Drugs Controller cum Member Secretary, PMRU, J&K, Lotika Khajuria, highlighted about the importance of organizing this workshop in the context of Drug Price mechanism. She said that the proposal for setting up of J&K, PMRU was made against the backdrop of the lack of field level link between National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), State Drug Controller’s (SDC’s) and subordinate enforcement authorities while monitoring drug prices.
Pankaj Kumar, Deputy Director, NPPA, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Union Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, said that the Central Government is working tirelessly to reduce out of pocket expenses of common people. He further said that recently National Pricing Authority has capped trade margin for 42 select non-scheduled anti-cancer medicine under trade margin rationalization approach.
During the workshop, Dr. Vishal R. Tandon, Professor, GMC, Jammu and Surinder Mohan, Deputy Drugs Controller, J&K presented the power point presentations on Drug Price Regulation under the provisions of DPCO, 2013.Senior officers of health department, JKMSCL, Drug Control Organization, and pharma manufacturing and trade association attended the workshop.