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Coronavirus | Not the time to profiteer, says National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

Oxygen level being measured on a digital fingertip pulse oximeter at a screening centre in Mumbai.

Oxygen level being measured on a digital fingertip pulse oximeter at a screening centre in Mumbai.   | Photo Credit: AFP

To ensure sufficient availability of critical medical equipment for clinical management of COVID-19 in the country, the Union Health Ministry said on July 3 that it has identified a list of critical medical equipment and has requested National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure its availability at affordable prices to the consumers.

“In order to keep check on the price rise of critical medical equipment, NPPA, in exercise of powers conferred under DPCO, 2013, has called for price-related data from manufacturers/importers of Pulse Oximeter and Oxygen Concentrator to ensure that prices existing as on 1st April, 2020 should not be increased more than 10% in a year,” noted a release issued by the Ministry.

All the medical devices have been notified as Drugs and have come under regulatory regime of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 w.e.f. 1st April 2020.

A stakeholders consultation with medical devices industry association and civil society group was held in 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.

“It has been reiterated that all the Medical Devices have come under price regulation accordingly, price increase of medical devices would be monitored,” noted the release.

The NPPA also urged the industry that it was not “business as usual” and not the time to profiteer in 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,” noted a senior health official.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 12:23:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-its-not-business-as-usual-not-the-time-to-profiteer-in-public-health-emergency-says-nppa/article31978232.ece

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