The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has directed all the manufacturers and importers of medical N-95 masks to submit maximum retail price (MRP) of medical N-95 masks. This has been done to do price monitoring under Para 20 of drugs price control order (DPCO)-2013 to ensure that no manufacturer/importer can increase more than ten per cent of MRP during the next 12 months.
Through an office memorandum (OM), the drug pricing regulator has asked the requisite information in the prescribed format under para 20 of the DPCO-2013 within ten days of issue of this OM.
“The undersigned is directed to refer to the gazette notification dated March 31, 2020 wherein it was notified that medical devices which have been notified as drugs under the provisions of DPCO 2013 with effect from April 1, 2020. In this regard, this is to reiterate that with effect from April 1, 2020 MRP of medical N95 masks shall be monitored under Para 20 of DPCO -2013 to ensure that no manufacturer and importer can increase the MRP more than 10% of MRP during the next 12 months,” the order stated.
Further, it has been observed that non-standard N-95 masks are being supplied in the market. In this regard, it is stressed that government promotes selling of certified medical N95 masks (BIS/NIOSH/FFP-2) only. The manufacturers of N95 masks are also advised to obtain the requisite certification from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) expeditiously.
Further, it is informed that after issuing an advisory by the government, major manufacturers/importers of medical N95 masks have reduced their prices up to 67% of the MRP (the details of such manufacturers/importers has also been shared). In this connection manufacturers/importers of medical N95 masks are also advised to bring down the retail price in public interest due to pandemic condition prevailing in the country.
A soft copy of the aforesaid format containing MRP details shall also be emailed to the following email email@example.com. To ensure the availability of N-95 masks at the revised MRPs as per price control compliance, NPPA had earlier issued a list of price reduction in N-95 masks by four major N-95 mask manufacturers, namely Venus Safety and Health Pvt Ltd, Magnum Health and Safety, Yash Care Life Sciences and Joseph Leslie & Co.
The national drug price regulator also shared the revised MRPs reported by these manufacturers of N-95 masks with the state drug controllers (SDCs). The list indicates that the makers of N-95 masks reduced the cost of their products, some even up to 47 per cent, after NPPA issued an advisory on May 21, 2020 recommending manufacturers to voluntarily lower prices. NPPA had also asked manufacturers, importers, suppliers of the N-95 masks to maintain parity in prices for non-government procurement and make them available at the same reasonable prices.