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Ballooning condom prices bring in regulator, 2 tiers likely

By Veena Mani
March 02, 2017 10:47 IST
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The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has decided to have one price for basic utility condoms and the other for pleasure condoms.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has initiated a process to again fix the price of condoms, and has asked manufacturers to provide details of retail prices.

The authority has decided to have one price for basic utility condoms and the other for pleasure condoms. It wants a price list along with “supporting documents like invoices to retailer and samples of August 2015”.

Condoms have been part of the National List of Essential Medicines from 2003. Subsequently, it was incorporated in Schedule 1 of the Drug Price Control Order of 2012, after which NPPA could cap its price.

NPPA’s decision to previously cap the price of condoms was challenged by companies in the Delhi high court over the procedure. Reckitt Benckiser and JK Ansell challenged two NPPA orders and contended condoms were not drugs, but devices, and could not be included in the DPCO of 2013.

The two pharma firms had claimed theirs' were luxury products “meant for pleasure” and had sought clarification on whether the current ceiling would apply only to utility condoms.

The NPPA, by its November 5, 2013, order had initially capped condom prices at Rs 6.56 each and this was later increased to Rs 8.04 by its July 10, 2014, notification.

Industry estimates are that Skore Condoms, distributed by Chennai-based TTK Healthcare has a market share of around 10 per cent.

Mankind Pharma (its chief refused to comment) has been the leader, with its Manforce brand having a market share of around 32 per cent.

Moods condoms have 16-17 per cent, Durex has two to three per cent and Kohinoor seven to eight per cent.

Image: Actress Sunny Leone models for Manforce condoms, which have a marketshare of around 32 per cent.

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Veena Mani
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