India MRP

India MRP

What is MRP?
MRP is known as Maximum Retail Price in India. This is not the same as MSRP (Maximum Suggested Retail Price) where the manufacturer suggests the price to a retailer. In India MRP means the maximum price a retailer can charge for a product. It is printed clearly and legibly on every single item that is sold in India. Even cell phones (on their outer box) and bottled water (on the cap) has the MRP printed on it. This is a legal requirement under the Consumer Protection Act and the Packaging Act in India.

Why MRP?
The genesis dates back to the 1960s where retailers would charge any price they want for a product. Some time in the early 70s the Indian government came out with a law that a manufacturer is required to print the maximum price the customer has to pay for the product. The manufacturer is free to charge whatever it wants to charge for the product and is also free to set any margin they wish to give to the retailer. But the product must leave the manufacturing facility with a clearly printed MRP on it. The result is that a customer in India pays for what is printed on the pack, no matter where he or she buys. This brings price uniformity and allows the customer to be aware about price changes easily.

How does it work in medications?
The pricing of medications is a bit more complex than regular products. There are 2 legislations that control the price of medications; one if the MRP and the second is called the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO). Under DPCO the government must approve prices of all medications. In many cases the pharma company is free to charge the price it wants to as long as it has government approval. And like any other product the company must print the retail price of the medication on the box as well as the blister containing the tablets or capsules.

Why price control?
In 1973 the government of India decided to control the prices of medications. The intention was to make regular pharmaceuticals more affordable to the common man. The law worked wonders as in 30 years India has one of the best pharmaceutical industries in the world along with very low prices and very high quality. When this order was passed in 1973 all big pharmaceutical companies left India in protest. This worked well for the Indian pharmaceutical companies. Most of them decided to start coming back into India from 2005, as they just could not ignore the market potential of more than 1 billion people. The result now is that many global pharma brands are available in India at low prices due to the DPCO.

What have the Canadian pharmacies done?
In 2005, when product availability started becoming a problem in Canada, the Canadian pharmacies turned to India as a reliable source of generic medications (for brands that were still not off patent in the US) to sell to US patients. They set up supply arrangements with pharmacies out of India to sell to you, the US consumer.
This was all fine but most of them bought product at India prices and sold to you at highly inflated prices. In India these pharmacies are currently buying products at MRP (in many cases even lower than MRP) and sell it to you at 10x to 20x the price.

Take the case of Plavix generic (manufactured by Cipla) in India. The MRP of Plavix for 100 pills works out to Indian Rupees 325. At an exchange rate of Rs. 45 per US$ the MRP works out to $7.25 for 100 pills. That is what we Indians pay for 100 pills of Cipla's Clopivas. What are you paying? Anywhwere between $95 and $140 for the same 100 pills.

This means that the Canadian pharmacy is marking this anywhere between 12 and 20 times their cost of buying. This is crazy!!! Everyone is entitled to make a decent profit as that is what business is all about, profit. And these pharmacies are also providing you service by making these medications available. But 20 times!!! Isn't that too high?

How are we at pricing our products?
As you should understand we all need to make a reasonable profit in business. Keeping this in mind all of our products are priced at Indian MRP plus 50 cents a day. This means that for a daily dosage you are going to pay a maxmimum of 50 cents more than what and Indian customer pays. The 50 cents is the highest point. Many of our products are priced MRP plus 25 cents a day and many are also priced at just MRP plus 10 cents a day.
Our goal is to ensure you pay a maximum of $1 per day for your medications. You can now buy with complete peace of mind that you are getting the same and maybe even better products than what is being sold by your regular pharmacy at very close to India prices. The only way to get these products any cheaper is to fly to India yourself.