With an increasing number of cases relating to medical issues, medicines and medical products have become an integral part of everyone's life.
It was on June 12, 2021, that the Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman through a press meet informed that the 'Goods and Service Tax Council' lowered the slab of vaccination and other essential items related to Covid-19. The decision was taken at the 44th GST Council Meet under the Chairmanship of Nirmala Sitharaman.
It was stated that the price of necessary items and Covid-19 essentials would remain low till September 30, 2021. The council even decided to stick to a 5% tax on vaccination. The same tax rate will be applicable on medicines including anti-coagulants and other drugs which were recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Pharma for Covid Treatment.
The tax slab on Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B was completely removed. Along with that, the GST on medical oxygen concentrators, ventilators and high flow nasal cannula were reduced to 5%.
With an aim to strengthen and make India a healthier country, the Government of India has formed a panel which will be headed by Dr V G Somani from the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI). This panel of 8 members will be framing a new law for drugs, cosmetics and medical devices.
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 was first framed in 1940. It had various sections of laws including the ones related to the Central Drug Laboratory, the Drug Consultation Committee which maintained the standard of medicines and drugs.In context with the regulation of the price of medical items and medicines in the market, Fit Northeast had a conversation with Ritam Das, who is an owner of a pharmacy. Mr Das said, "India is a country which has a population of poor people, who on today's date even cannot afford medicines. So it would be very good for them if the new panel works mainly on lowering of the prices and availability of medicines to the poor section of the society".
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 was first framed in 1940. It had various sections of laws including the ones related to the Central Drug Laboratory, the Drug Consultation Committee which maintained the standard of medicines and drugs. There were various acts to control the misbranding of drugs, check the adulteration of drugs, misbranding of cosmetic items, prohibition of import of certain drugs and cosmetics. This law even keeps an eye on the equal distribution of medicines throughout the country.