384 essential medicines brought under price cap

The central government had in September revised the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), by omitting 26 medicines from the 2015 list and adding 34 new medicines: Shutterstock/Bukhta Yurii

New Delhi:  The Department of Pharmaceuticals, under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, has issued an order, bringing all 384 medicines, included in the National List of Essential Medicines, under price control. This would pave the way for fixing the prices based on the average cost of each medicine in retail.

The central government had in September revised the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), by omitting 26 medicines from the 2015 list and adding 34 new medicines.

The amendment brought in after seven years will reduce the price of medicines such as insulin glargine injection used by diabetic patients, ivermectin for treatment of infection and montelukast tablets given to asthma patients.

Medicines used in cancer treatment such as bendamustine hydrochloride, irinotecan, lenalidomide and leuprolide; and cardiovascular medicines dabigatran and tenecteplase are among the other medicines brought under the price ceiling.

Fake medicines seized
New Delhi :Fake medicines of international brands valued at Rs eight crore were seized and seven people have been arrested in this connection from the national capital, police said on Tuesday.

With the arrests, the Delhi Police's Crime Branch claimed to have busted an international syndicate which was manufacturing fake life-saving drugs.

"We have also seized huge quantity of loose medicines, packets, packaging material and machinery equipment," a senior official said.

The accused were identified as Pabitra Narayan Pardhan, Shubham Manna, Pankaj Singh Bohra, Ankit Sharma alias Anku alias Bhajji, Ram Kumar alias Harbir, Aekansh Verma and Parbhat Kumar.

Crime Branch DCP Ravindra Yadav said: "There were some vital inputs at ISC Crime Branch, Delhi regarding involvements of an international gang in manufacturing-cum supplying spurious life saving cancer drugs. These individuals were indulged in inter-state dealings and pan-India involvement in supplying counterfeit life saving drugs, since long.

"The accused were making profit out of the illness and misery of cancer patients, selling them false hopes by providing fake drugs, with no active ingredients and playing with the precious lives of innocent persons who were already suffering from life-threatening diseases like cancer."

The police learnt that accused Pradhan and Subham were operating their godown from Ghaziabad from where the fake medicines were delivered across the country.

The first arrest in the case was made from outside area of Pragati Maidan where Bohra came to deliver medicine on a two-wheeler. At his instance, Pradhan and other accused were held from Noida.

"During interrogation, we learnt that Pardhan completed his MBBS from China in 2012. During the MBBS course, his batch-mate, Rasel (native of Bangladesh) intimated that he can provide API (Actual Pharmaceutical Ingredients) required to manufacture spurious medicines used in the treatment of cancer. He further told him that the aforesaid medicines have a very heavy demand in the markets of India and China and are highly expensive. From the selling of these spurious medicines, they can earn huge amounts of money.

"Anil, who is their friend and who also completed MBBS from China, agreed to supply such spurious medicines through his contact in India and China. Thereafter, Pradhan involved his cousin Shubham Manna and other associates and started manufacturing the spurious medicines meant for the treatment of cancer," the official said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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