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Torrent Pharma gets price exemption for new drug

The move makes Torrent free to price the medicine for five years, after which it will have to seek NPPA approval

Sushmi Dey  |  New Delhi 

Ahmedabad-based Torrent Pharma has secured an exemption from price control for one of its newly developed fixed dose combination (FDC) products. This is apparently the first product to get exemption under the new drug pricing policy, which came into effect last year. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) granted an exemption to Torrent Pharma’s FDC containing prasugrel hydrochloride 10 mg plus aspirin 75 mg for five years. The order is based on a provision of the Drugs Price Control Order, 2013, that allows the exception to products approved as a ‘new drug’ by the drug quality regulator. The idea is to promote domestic investment in research and development of new drugs. This means Torrent is free to price the medicine for five years, after which it will have to seek NPPA approval.

However, the regulator has also asked the company to keep it informed about the maximum retail price. NPPA had in May rejected a similar application from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare, seeking exemption from price control for Crocin Advance, a widely prescribed product for fever and pain relief. GSK had claimed the product was a new drug, with optizorb technology that releases its medicine up to five times faster than ordinary paracetamol tablets. A panel of experts constituted by NPPA had rejected GSK's argument. The same expert committee, however, recommended the exemption for Torrent’s drug. On Monday, shares of Torrent Pharma ended at Rs 786.60 on the BSE exchange, up 0.06 per cent from their previous close.

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First Published: Tue, August 26 2014. 00:49 IST