In order to keep a check on the price rise of critical medical equipment during Covid-19 pandemic, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked all manufacturers and importers of pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators to immediately provide price-related data so that necessary verification could be done.
The idea is to check the price movement of these equipment from April 1 and ensure that prices existing on this date are not increased more than 10 per cent in a year. As part of efforts to ensure timely availability of critical medical equipment at affordable prices to consumers, the government has notified all medical devices as drugs and placed it under the regulatory regime of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs (Prices (Control Order)), 2013 with effect from April 1, 2020.
The NPPA is the authority that maintains checks on prices of critical drugs as per the provisions of the DPCO and puts a cap on prices, if necessary.
The latest action from the NPPA for medical equipment is in line with request made to Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to use NPPA to ensure availability of such equipment in the country.
As part of this, a stakeholders consultation with medical devices industry associations and civil society groups was held in the NPPA on July 1, wherein it was stressed that all the manufacturers/importers of critical medical equipment shall ensure sufficient availability of the same in the country.
The NPPA Chairman also urged the industry that it is not “Business as usual” and not the time to profiteer from the public health emergency.
The medical devices industry associations have been urged to bring down the retail price of critical medical equipment in larger public interest in the prevailing situation as has been done by the manufacturers/importers of N-95 masks.