Around 620 brands have witnessed reduction in prices so far with the government capping trade margins on five critical medical devices such as pulse oximeter and digital thermometer, used extensively in the treatment and prevention of Covid-19, at 70 per cent with effect from July 20, Chemicals and Fertilisers ministry said on Saturday.
On July 13, the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) had invoked extraordinary powers under the Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, to put a cap on trade margin of five medical devices -- oximeter, glucometer, BP monitor, nebuliser and digital thermometer.
The margin was capped up to 70 per cent on Price to Distributor (PTD) level. "Pursuant there to, a total of 684 products/brands of these medical devices have been reported as on July 23, 2021 and 620 products/brands (91 per cent) have reported downward revision of MRP," Chemicals and Fertilisers ministry said in a statement.
The maximum downward revision has been reported by an imported brand of pulse oximeter, showing reduction of Rs 2,95,375 per unit, it added. The downward revision of MRP has been reported by imported and domestic brands across all the categories, the ministry stated.
The highest reduction in prices by importers has been on pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitoring machines and nebulisers, it noted. The revised MRP effective from July 20, 2021 on all the brands and specifications has been shared with the state drug controllers for strict monitoring and enforcement, the ministry said.
"In larger public interest, Government caps Trade Margin for 5 Medical Devices, effective from July 20..It will hugely reduce prices of Medical devices," Chemicals and Fertilizers minister Mansukh L Mandaviya tweeted. With an aim of making the medical devices affordable during the evolving situation of COVID pandemic, it is felt necessary to regulate the trade margin on these medical devices, NPPA had said in its order.
It had noted that the data collected from the manufacturers /marketers/importers pointed out that existing trade margins on the five medical devices ranged up to 709 per cent from price to distributor to MRP level. The Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, authorises the NPPA to control the prices of drugs that are not under the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines) under extraordinary circumstances in public interest. Last month, the government capped the trade margin on oxygen concentrators at 70 per cent by invoking extraordinary powers under Para 19 of the DPCO, 2013.
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