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UPDATE 1-India expands medicine price control list to include 2 antibiotics

(Corrects to say two drugs added in price control list in headline and first paragraph, removes second bullet point and third paragraph, adds new second and third paragraphs)

* New drugs join price control list of more than 500 drugs

By Zeba Siddiqui

MUMBAI, July 16 (Reuters) - India has extended price caps to an additional two antibiotics, in the government's latest effort to improve the affordability of medicines.

India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said in a notice that it had put price caps on the 250 mg strength of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride and the 250 mg and 500 mg strengths of cefotaxime.

The NPPA also set new retail prices for specific brands of drugs including those for diabetes and hypertension, according to the notice.

Wide-ranging price cuts over the past year have hit several drugmakers in India and have been opposed by many in the industry, who say drug prices in the country are already among the lowest in the world. The new drugs join a price control list that covers more than 500 drugs.

The move comes after a parliamentary committee said in April that the scope of price control needed to be enlarged even further. In India, the majority of people live on less than $2 a day and health insurance is scarce.

But a study conducted by healthcare research firm IMS and sponsored by the main business association of multinational drugmakers operating in India argues that price controls are not an effective strategy to improve healthcare access for Indian patients.

Price caps benefit high-income patients rather than the low-income patients and put pressure on profit margins for small and mid-sized companies, said the study, which was released on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui; Editing by Clara Ferreira Marques and Edwina Gibbs)