For an additional three months, the NPPA extends the TMR for five medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators

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The cap on the trade margin for oxygen concentrators and five other medical devices that was imposed in 2021 has been further extended by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) for three more months. Since the virus continues to pose a threat to the nation’s public health, the pricing restrictions that were put in place during the Covid-19 epidemic to ensure the ongoing availability of these drugs have been further expanded. According to a ruling made at the end of December 2022, the price restrictions put on these products would end at the end of March 2023.

As a result of the Authority’s latest judgement, the price regulations are now in effect until either further notice, which is currently scheduled for later in 2023, or until June 30, 2023. In June 2021, the trade margin rationalisation (TMR) for oxygen concentrators was announced due to the increased use of oxygen concentrators during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the virus primarily affects a patient’s respiratory system, it is especially dangerous for those who also have co-morbid conditions like diabetes or cardiac issues. The Government capped the trade margin for oxygen concentrators at the first point of sale of the product at 70%, the Authority was informed by the Government in June 2021.

70 out of 252 goods had price reductions as a result of the change, and the MRP decreased by up to 54%. (up to Rs 54,337). According to NPPA authorities earlier, the price of oxygen concentrators had no negative effects on domestic production and there was no disruption in supply. On July 13, 2021, the NPPA first imposed capping the trade margin of five medical devices—a pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, nebulizer, digital thermometer, and glucometer—at 70% at the product’s first point of sale (price to distribution) for fixing the maximum retail price of these products in response to increased usage of these devices due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Maximum Retail Pricing = Price to Distributor (PTD) + (PTD x TM) + Applicable GST, Where TM = Trade Margin not exceeding 70%,” reads the notification’s mandate for setting the maximum retail price (MRP).

Manufacturers and importers of certain medical equipment were also instructed by the NPPA in an office letter dated July 14 to submit updated MRPs of their goods in accordance with the price capping. In all categories, both domestic and foreign brands reported a decrease in MRP based on the data supplied. After this, a total of 1,132 items, including 277 pulse oximeters, 329 blood pressure monitoring machines, 105 glucometers, 164 digital thermometers, and 257 nebulizers, reported prices, of which 1,033 (91%) reported a decrease in MRP, according to the Authority previously.

The decrease in MRP was between Rs.12 to Rs. 2,95,375 (1%-89%) for pulse oximeters, Rs. 20 to Rs. 38,776 (1%-83%) for blood pressure monitoring machine, Rs. 30 to Rs. 2,250 (1%-98%) for glucometer, Rs. 8 to Rs. 44,775 (1%-89%) for digital thermometer and Rs. 56 to Rs. 6,165 (1%-83%) for nebuliser, according to an earlier document with NPPA. All medical devices, including glucometers, nebulizers, digital thermometers, and pulse oximeters, will be governed by the terms of the DPCO, 2013, as of April 1, 2020, according to a notification issued by the pricing regulator on March 31, 2020.

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