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Oximeters, BP machines and 3 other devices to get cheaper

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on July 13 capped trade margins at 70 percent for pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitoring machine, nebulizer, digital thermometer and glucometer, a move that will bring down prices of these devices widely used in managing COVID.

The revised prices will come into effect from July 20 and remain in force up to January 31, 2022 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the Indian drug price regulator has said.

There has been a huge demand for pulse oximeter, which is used for measuring oxygen level of the blood, especially during the second COVID wave.

Trade margin is the difference between the price at which manufacturers sell to stockist or distributors and the final price (or maximum retail price) to the buyer.

The government invoked paragraph 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013, to fix trade margins and directed manufacturers to fix their retail price based on the price at the first point of sale of product or the price to the stockist.

NPPA said it had collected data regarding the trade margins for these five devices from the manufacturers, marketers and importers and noted that margins ranged up to 709 percent.

“In the exercise of the powers vested by the Government of India in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, having been satisfied that in view of the extraordinary circumstances in public interest, as explained above, the Government, hereby, invokes the provisions of Paragraph 19 of the DPCO, 2013 to regulate the price of these five medical devices, … under ‘Trade Margin Rationalisation Approach’,” NPPA said in its notification.

NPPA said the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and Director General of Health Service (DGHS) were agreement that medical devices are essential for COVID management.

The manufacturers of these five medical devices, selling at price higher than the maximum retail price (MRP) will have to revise the prices down ward. The manufacturers having lower MRP lower than the capped margins shall maintain the existing MRP.

NPPA has asked the manufacturers for price list and a copy to state drug controller and dealers by July 20.

Every retailer, dealer, hospital and institution will have to display price list and the supplementary 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.

The manufacturers not complying with MRP shall be “liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with 15 percent interest pa from the date of increase in price in addition to penalty upto 100 percent of theovercharged amount under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 read with Essential Commodities Act, 1955″, NPPA said. Moneycontrol