As part of celebration of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Price Monitoring & Resource Unit, J&K conducted a webinar to highlight the importance of affordability and availability of safe, quality and efficacious drugs to the end users at Jammu.

Prominent and eminent dignitaries from National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, Academicians from Pharma field , representatives from manufacturing units and drug regulatory authorities enlightened the participants about various challenges surrounding the field.

The State Drug Controller, Lotika Khajuria gave a detailed overview of the activities undertaken by PRMU of the UT. She complimented the stakeholders for their overwhelming support during Covid-19 Pandemic.

She explained the mechanism and approach required to expose incidents of overpricing resorted to by unscrupulous elements in pharma business.

The webinar was attended by Member Secretary, National Pharmaceutical & Pricing Authority (NPPA), Govt. of India. Dr. Vinod Kotwal. She gave a comprehensive speech covering all activities undertaken by NPPA and PMRU. She expressed satisfaction over the working of PMRU, J&K.

She informed that NPPA is maintaining surveillance over pricing of drug molecules to accord broader coverage to existing list of capped formulations ( Scheduled & Non-Scheduled). She sought active cooperation of all stakeholders for bringing effective changes in the pricing scenario of drug molecules.

Dr. Geer Mohd Isaq , Advisor of PMRU stressed upon the need to introduce result oriented approach to address issues related to pricing & availability of medical products. He informed that India has made exponential growth in the pharma field and it would not be out of context to refer to India as the pharmacy of the world.

He added that PMRU can play an important role in the healthcare system as our BPL population can get benefitted if drug molecules are prescribed in generic names only. He emphasized that an aggressive awareness campaign can help to generate mass awareness about consumer related issues in pharma business.

The commissioner, FDA, Shakeel-ur-Rehman speaking on the occasion assured the august gathering that the department shall strive hard to achieve the objectives enshrined under PMRU. He said that the department intends to organize several awareness programmes to rope in support for the PMRU initiatives.

Satish Koul , President, J&K drug Manufacturers association informed that the Pharma industry is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that Covid Appropriate Behavior is adopted in letter and spirit and there is no interruption in production of pharmaceutical products. He further offered unconditional support to the PMRU for maintaining sufficient stocks of essential drugs as also such drugs which are used in covid management.

Irfana Ahmad, Deputy Drug Controller, Kashmir gave a brief of activities undertaken by the enforcement staff during lockdown. She informed that certain formulations have been identified which are overpriced. The department is in the process of taking further recourse in the matter.

The participants from trade namely, Rohit Sharma and Mushtaq Ahamd Pukhta shared their practical experience with the participants. They unanimously advocated for effective surveillance over drug molecules which are not uniformly priced but have a broader relevance in the healthcare system.

Renuka Raina, Asstt. Controller Drugs offered a vote of thanks to the participants. She said that the stakeholders can do a better job by working in tandem and complimenting each other in the endeavour to achieve the mandate of PMRU.

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