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March 2, 2001                                       Feedback  

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Govt may announce new drug policy in June, revise DPCO list

Rajesh Unnikrishnan

The central government is likely to announce the new drug policy in June and consequently may come out with a revised drugs' list under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO).

Sources said that the union ministry of chemical and fertilisers is in the final stage of drafting the new drug policy. The expert panel mooted by the ministry in this regard has recently submitted its recommendation, and if things go smoothly, the new drug policy will be announced in June.

Inspite of the FM's announcement in the Budget that the reach of DPCO will be reduced considerably, sources pointed out that it may not happen so easily.

The industry on its part expects that the ambit of DPCO would be reduced to certain life-saving drugs.

The government is planning to remove majority of the 75 drugs that are currently in the list under DPCO. Once revised, the number may come down between 35 and 40. At the same time a few new entrants may find place in the list.

The task force had appointed two sub-committees -- the Burman Committee for evaluating the growth prospects of the ayurveda sector and Ajay Piramal-D S Brar committee for allopathy. The two panels had submitted their recommendations early this year.

Following this, the ministry had mooted the formation of an expert panel to review the recommendations made by the panels and get more feedback from the industry.

Sources said that various industry associations have been seeking an early announcement of the drug policy pleading that considerable time has already been lapsed and further delay would damage the interest of research-based pharmaceutical companies.

Source: Business Standard

The Budget 2001-2002 Special

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