Imphal: In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, Government is ensuring sufficient availability of critical medical equipment for clinical management of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) has identified list of critical medical equipment for the same and has requested National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure availability of the same in the country.
A press statement issued by the ministry on Thursday said, that the Government is committed for availability of life saving drugs/devices at affordable prices to the consumers. 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), 2013 w.e.f. 1st April 2020. In order to keep 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/importers of (i) Pulse Oximeter and (ii) Oxygen Concentrator to ensure that prices existing as on 1st April 2020 should not be increased more than 10% in a year.
A Stakeholders Consultation with Medical Devices Industry Associations and Civil Society Group was held in NPPA on 1st July 2020 wherein it was stressed that all the manufacturers/importers of critical medical equipments shall 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 w.e.f. 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 equipments in larger public interest in the prevailing situation as has been done by the manufacturers/importers of N-95 masks.