NATIONAL

Not the time to profiteer: NPPA

Medical devices notified as drugs, come under regulatory regime from April 1

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

“In order to keep a 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 the regulatory regime of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013, with effect from April 1. A stakeholders consultation with medical devices industry associations and civil society groups was held by the NPPA on July 1 wherein it was stressed that all the manufacturers and importers of critical medical equipment shall ensure sufficient availability of the same. “It has been reiterated that all the medical devices have come under price regulation accordingly, price increase of medical devices would be monitored,” the release said.

The NPPA told the industry that it was not “business as usual” and not the time to profiteer. “The Medical Devices Industry Associations have been urged to bring down the retail price of critical equipment in the public interest in the prevailing situation as has been done by the manufacturers/importers of N-95 masks,” a senior health official said.

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