From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Price Monitoring and Research Unit (PMRU)
Mains level : Drug prices monotoring mechanisms in India
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has set up price monitoring and resource unit (PMRU) in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. With this J&K has become the 12th State/UT where the PMRU has been set up.
Price Monitoring and Research Unit (PMRU)
- It is a registered society set up for drug price monitoring.
- PMRUs have already been set up by the drug price regulator NPPA in 11 states such as Kerala, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Mizoram.
- The State Health Secretary would be the Chairman of the society and the Drugs Controller would be its member secretary.
- Its members include a State government representative, representatives of private pharmaceutical companies, and those from consumer rights protection fora.
- The society would also have an executive committee headed by the Drugs Controller.
Terms of reference
PMRU offers technical help to the State Drug Controllers and the NPPA to:
- Monitor notified prices of medicines
- Detect violation of the provisions of the DPCO
- Look at price compliance
- Collect test samples of medicines, and
- Collect and compile market-based data of scheduled as well as non-scheduled formulations.
Why need PMRU?
- Pharma companies have been accused of overcharging prices of drugs in the scheduled category fixed by the DPCO and those outside its ambit too.
- The suggestion to set up PMRUs was made against the backdrop of the lack of a field-level link between the NPPA and the State Drugs Controllers and State Drug Inspectors to monitor drug prices.
- The NPPA had fixed the prices of around 1,000 drugs and the unit would track if buyers were being overcharged.
- It would also check if pharma companies were hiking the prices of non-scheduled drugs by more than 10% a year.
- It will check if there is any shortage of essential medicines.