Mumbai: The government is planning to control the prices of costly patented drugs with a view to making them affordable to poor, phrama secretary Dilsher Singh Kalha said in Mumbai on Friday.
"A committee has already finalised a proposal (in this regard) and we will put it out in the public domain in a month or so," Kalha told reporters on the sidelines of an industry function in Mumbai on Friday.
The move comes after the government took away patents of a number of life-saving drugs and gave licences to domestic companies to manufacture them.
"There could be reference pricing system (for patented drugs) or maybe fixed-pricing, but a final decision has not been taken," Kalha said.
The government is working on a plan to implement a $5.4-billion project to provide free generic medicines to poor.
At present, patented drugs are free of price controls, but there are price curbs on 348 so-called "essential" drugs.
Earlier in 2012, German pharma company Bayer lost a legal battle in India and was forced to grant a compulsory licence for its cancer drug Nexavar to Natco Pharma, a local generics maker, which sells the medicine for Rs 8,880 for a monthly dose, a price later undercut by Cipla.
Bayer's Nexavar costs Rs 280,000 per monthly dose.