A Price Monitoring and Resource Unit (PMRU) has been set up in Karnataka on Thursday under the aegis of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India. Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda tweeted to announce the same.
PMRU will function at the State level under the direct supervision of the State Drug Controller for increasing outreach of NPPA. PMRUs are societies registered under the Societies Registration Act having its own Memorandum of Association/ Bye laws. The Board of Governors of PMRU includes the representatives from Central Government and State Government concerned and other stakeholders.
NPPA, under its Central Sector Scheme named Consumer Awareness, Publicity and Price Monitoring (CAPPM), has already set up of PMRUs in 12 States/ UTs, including Kerala, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Jammu & Kashmir. NPPA has plans to set up PMRUs in all the 36 States/ UTs. The expenses of PMRUs, both recurring and non-recurring are borne by NPPA under the Scheme. Till now National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is headquartered at Delhi only and with the setting up of PMRUs in States/ UTs, NPPA shall have outreach at State Level as well.
The primary function of PMRUs is to assist NPPA in monitoring of prices of drugs, ensuring availability of drugs and raising consumer awareness. They act as collaborating partners of NPPA with information gathering mechanism at the grass-roots level. They will render necessary technical assistance to both the NPPA and the respective State Drug Controllers of States/ Union Territories.
NPPA has been working in tandem with State Governments during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure seamless availability of life saving essential medicines including HCQ, paracetamol, vaccines, insulin and medicines under COVID protocol. Working together with State Governments, NPPA has strived to ensure that there is no shortage of drugs throughout the country. The PMRUs are expected to strengthen drug security and affordability at regional levels. – SSN SASTRY