National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capped the trade margin on oxygen concentrators up to 70% on price to distributor level, country’s drugs price watchdog announced on Friday, adding that the margin currently ranges up to 198%.
“In view of the extraordinary circumstances arising due to the Covid pandemic that has resulted in recent volatility in Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) of oxygen concentrators, the government has decided to step in to regulate the price of oxygen concentrators. As per information collected by the government, margin at the level of distributor currently ranges up to 198%. By invoking extraordinary powers under Para 19 of the DPCO, 2013, in larger public interest, NPPA has capped the trade margin up to 70% on Price to Distributor (PTD) level on oxygen concentrators…,” said ministry of chemicals and fertilizers in a statement.
Based on the notified trade margin, NPPA has instructed the manufacturers and importers to report revised MRP within three days. NPPA will put the revised MRPs in public domain within a week.
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Every retailer, dealer, hospital, and institution has been directed to display price list as furnished by the manufacturer, on a conspicuous part of the business premises in a manner so as to be easily accessible to any person wishing to consult the same.
Manufacturers and importers not complying with the revised MRP after trade margin capping kicks in, will be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with 15% interest and penalty up to 100% under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013, read with Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
State Drug Controllers (SDCs) have been directed to monitor the compliance of the order to ensure that no manufacturer, distributer, retailer sells oxygen concentrators to any consumer at a price exceeding the revised MRP, to prevent instances of black-marketing.The order is going to be applicable up to November 30, 2021, subject to review.
“…The government is striving to ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen and oxygen concentrators in adequate quantity in the country during the pandemic. Oxygen concentrator is a non-scheduled drug and presently under voluntary licensing framework of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). Its price is being monitored under the provisions of DPCO 2013,” read the ministry statement.
Earlier, in February 2019, NPPA had capped the trade margin on anti-cancer drugs.