New Delhi: India’s drug price regulator has sought details from state governments on existing stocks of masks, gloves, testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment kits (PPEs) in a bid to assess shortage and price rise, as the country battles to contain Covid-19.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked states to share all details urgently not later by April 5. It has asked state chief secretaries to share information regarding the production capacity available in the state, number of procurement orders issued by the state government, procurement orders issued by the government hospitals, PSUs and private health services.
The NPPA has also asked the states to provide information regarding the stock in hand at various levels including retailers, hospitals, PSUs, chemists, among others, in the distribution channel.
The government has been facing acute criticism due to shortage of PPEs, masks and gloves putting at risk the frontline workers and a meeting was held on Monday by the empowered group constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The government also notified all medical devices as ‘drugs’ from, thereby bringing nearly 5,000 devices including gloves, masks, PPEs, and ventilators under the NPPA’s regulatory supervision for quality control and price monitoring.
The NPPA has also asked states to assess requirements for PPEs, masks, gloves and ventilators for Covid-19 for next two months. Besides, Shubhra Singh, chairperson, has also asked details on the shortfall of these devices.