The primary function of PMRUs is to assist the NPPA in monitoring drug prices, ensuring drug availability and raising consumer awareness.
Manpower recruitment is still underway in key states of Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh (MP) for Price Control and Research Units (PMRUs) set up to track drug price violations despite funds being allocated from the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
Odisha, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra received funds amounting to Rs 42.77 lakh, Rs 33.80 lakh, Rs 33.80 lakh and Rs 33.80 lakh respectively.
Other smaller states like Goa also received Rs 23.70 lakh with Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Jharkhand, Haryana and Chhattisgarh having received Rs 29 lakh each.
PMRUs have been established to monitor drug prices, detect price irregularities, and ensure drug availability under the Central Program for Consumer Awareness, Advertising and Price Control (CAPPM). The CAPPM scheme was approved by the Standing Finance Committee on October 29, 2015, and in 2016 it was decided to implement the scheme in phases.
The NPPA has established PMRUs in 19 states and union territories including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, G&K, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerr. Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram.
States like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have not yet established the units.
PMRUs are tasked with collecting and classifying market-based data as well as collecting drug test samples. The NPPA has plans to establish PMRUs in all 36 states and union territories of the country. The expenses for PMRUs, both recurring and non-recurring, are borne by the NPPA under the CAPPM scheme.
PMRU is a registered association under the Presidency of the State Drug Controller (SDC). Representatives of the NPPA, the State Department of Health, civil societies, and other stakeholders are members of the PMRU. The primary function of PMRUs is to assist the NPPA in monitoring drug prices, ensuring drug availability and raising consumer awareness.
The CAPPM scheme consists of two components – a national component that covers advertising expenditures through print and electronic media, organization of consumer awareness seminars and procurement of drug samples while a government component is planned to establish PMRUs in states.
According to the scheme, 11 states fall under the first category of 11 states with a population of more than three percent of the total population, the second category consists of nine states with a population less than three percent, but more than one percent of the total population and the third category of 16 A state and a federal territory where its population is less than one percent of the total population. Implementation of the revised scheme commenced with effect from the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Twenty-one states have given their approval for the formation of the Popular Mobilization Units in the past three years. These were Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Tripura, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Nagaland, Goa, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
PMRUs will be the main collaborating partners of the NPPA, with information-gathering mechanisms at the grass-roots level. The PMRU will also ensure that the benefits of DPCO seep out to the grassroots level. The central funding will be for an initial period of five years subject to a mid-term review,” according to the NPPA notification.
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