Now the government is taking steps to stop the unaccounted profiteering in medical equipment by cutting the pockets of people suffering from the COVID-19 epidemic. Taking action in this regard, the government has fixed the limit of trade margin to be charged on five essential medical devices – pulse oximeter, glucometer, BP monitor, nebulizer and digital thermometer. Now no more than 70 percent trade margin can be charged on these five instruments. At present, a huge margin of up to 709% is being charged on these devices. Based on the new limit of margin, the new prices of the equipment will be applicable from July 20.
NPPA issued order under Drug Price Control Order
This order fixing the limit of trade margin has been issued by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in exercise of the special powers granted under paragraph 19 of the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013. NPPA, which monitors the prices of medicines and medical equipment, has told in an information given on Twitter that margins ranging from 3 percent to 709 percent are being charged on pulse oximeters, glucometers, BP monitors, nebulizers and digital thermometers. But now bringing these five instruments under trade margin rationalization, the maximum limit of margin charged on them has been fixed at 70%.
100% fine will be imposed on the manufacturers who do not follow the order
According to the NPPA, after the implementation of the new margin on these medical devices, the reduced prices will be applicable from July 20. NPPA has said in its order that this decision has been taken to fix the limit of trade margin, so that it can be easier for the people to buy this essential medical equipment. NPPA has said that under the new order, the manufacturers of these five devices will have to revise the MRP recorded on their products according to the new margin. Manufacturers who do not do so will be fined 100 per cent of the excess price charged. Along with this, they will also have to pay 15 percent interest on the overcharged amount.
According to the authority, data taken from manufacturers, marketers and importers shows that at present, margins of up to 709 per cent are being charged between the distributor’s price to the maximum retail price (MRP) on these five medical devices. In these circumstances, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India has decided to exercise the special powers granted under paragraph 19 of the Drug Price Control Order 2013.
In June, a maximum margin of 70% was fixed on oxygen concentrators
Last month, using the same provision of DPCO, the government had also fixed a maximum margin of 70 per cent on the sale of oxygen concentrators. Para 19 of the DPCO empowers the NPPA to control the prices of medicines and medical equipment which are not included in the National List of Essential Medicines.