The government has capped the trade margin on oxygen concentrators at 70 per cent from up to 198 per cent being charged currently, in view of increasing black-marketing cases and volatility in their maximum retail prices (MRP). The order will be applicable up to November 30, 2021, subject to review.
The ministry of chemicals and fertilisers said the government has decided to step in to regulate the price of oxygen concentrators since the margin at the level of distributor currently ranges up to 198 per cent.
"By invoking extraordinary powers under Para 19 of the DPCO, 2013, in the larger public interest, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has capped the trade margin up to 70 per cent on price to distributor (PTD) level on oxygen concentrators," a statement said.
The NPPA has instructed manufacturers or importers to report revised MRP in three days, and the revised rates will be made public in a week. Every retailer, dealer, hospital and institution will display a price list as furnished by the manufacturer in a manner so as to be easily accessible to any person wishing to consult it.
"The manufacturers/importers not complying with the revised MRP after Trade Margin capping, shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest at 15 per cent and penalty up to 100 per cent under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013," the Centre said.
The State Drug Controllers (SDCs) will monitor the compliance to ensure no manufacturer, distributor, the retailer sells oxygen concentrators at a price exceeding the revised MRP.
With the spurt in Covid-19 cases in the country, the demand for medical oxygen has gone considerably. The government is striving to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen and oxygen concentrators in adequate quantities. The oxygen concentrator is a non-scheduled drug and presently under the voluntary licencing framework of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
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