GSK Pharma’s profit tumbles amid drug price row

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s net profit tumbled by 33 per cent to Rs 100.9 crore for quarter ended September 30, 2013 compared with Rs 152.3 crore in the year-ago period. Net sales also decreased from Rs 668 crore last year to Rs 620 crore for Q3 FY2013.

This could be a direct result of recently revised National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy by the government where number of drugs that came under price control increased from 74 to 348 drugs.

This led to a slugfest between traders and pharmaceutical companies as traders demanded that pharmaceutical companies like GSK, Ranbaxy, Lupin and Pfizer maintain the commission on the drugs that came under price control recently. Retailers and wholesalers receive a proportion of drug’s retail price as their commission.

Some of the companies that resisted this were boycotted by retailers as they refused to stock their products.

Earlier, the company announced in the stock exchange, “It has come to our knowledge that in the major pockets of the country our products are not being purchased by the trade from September 15, 2013. On account of the above, sales of the company continue to be affected."

GSK Pharma’s 30 per cent products have come under price control compared with 24 per cent earlier.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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