India says drugs with authentication tech can have price premium

nonClonableID imageThe government of India has amended its pricing policy for essential medicines to allow products bearing an authentication technology developed by Bilcare to carry premium pricing.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has issued a notification saying that pharmaceutical manufacturers that wish to make use of Bilcare's nonClonableID anti-counterfeit technology can charge an addition 1.02 rupees (around 2 cents) per blister pack of tablet and capsules products.

nonClonableID relies on the application of micro- and nanoparticulate metallic materials - with unique magnetic and optical features - that can be added to a product's primary and/or secondary packaging as well as the label.

The unique, random pattern of the nanoparticles can be read at any stage in the pharmaceutical supply chain to authenticate packaging and detect counterfeits or diverted product using a low-cost, handheld scanner.

The notice notes that the premium can be added provided the manufacturing and/or marketing companies are prepared to share the data within the nonClonableID tag with the NPPA.

The NPPA also allows an additional cost of 0.04 rupees per blister strip of 10 tablets for holograms, and 0.05 rupees per strip for covert features that are invisible to the naked eye but visible under ultraviolet light. Other authentication technologies will be considered on a case-by-case basis, it said.

Drugmakers also get a 100 per cent Maximum Allowable Post-manufacturing Expenses (MAPE) margin if they use Bilcare's technology, said a spokesman for the company.

The MAPE allows manufacturers to charge a premium on retail prices to help cover ex-factory expenses; for example, imported medicines can typically secure a MAPE of 50 per cent in order to cover selling and distribution expenses once the product is landed in India.

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