An Indian health ministry panel meets today to consider adding more drugs to the government's National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). Membership on the list means that there is a cap on the price. It makes drugs more affordable for the >1B people, 70% who live on <$2/day.
Many observers are surprised by the formation of the committee considering the business-friendly posture of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Last year the number of drugs on the NLEM increased from 74 to 348, covering ~30% of the total drugs sold in India.
Drug firms can protest and complain, but in the end there is little they can do. Even if the NLEM expands further, India remains an attractive growth market for the industry.