In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government is striving to ensure sufficient availability of critical medical equipment for clinical management of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) has identified a list of critical medical equipment for the same and has requested the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure the same in the country.
According to the press statement, the Government is committed to the availability of life-saving drugs and devices at affordable prices. All the medical devices have been notified as drugs and have come under regulatory regime of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013 with effect from 1 April 2020. 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 or 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.
A stakeholder consultation with Medical Devices Industry Associations and Civil Society Group was held in NPPA on 1st July 2020. It was stressed that all the manufacturers or importers of critical medical equipment should ensure sufficient availability of the same in the country. It has been reiterated that all the medical devices have come under price regulation under DPCO, 2013, with effect from 1st April 2020. Accordingly, price increase of medical devices would be monitored under Para 20. Chairman, NPPA also urged the Industry that it is not “Business as usual” and not the time to profiteer in the public health emergency. The Medical Devices Industry Associations have been urged to bring down the retail price of critical medical equipment in larger public interest in the prevailing situation as has been done by the manufacturers or importers of N-95 masks.