Last Updated on December 15, 2020 by The Health Master
In order to cater to 1120 C-19 hospitals in the state, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have maintained that there is a production of 480 metric tonnes (MT) of oxygen per day with the daily consumption of 408 MT.
The Maharashtra government has also appointed 104 nodal officers from Maharashtra FDA to monitor stock and supply of medical oxygen by 26 manufacturers and 78 oxygen refillers in the state.
Earlier, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had issued a directive to keep strict vigil on medical oxygen stock and supply and take apt action under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act, 1940 and Essential Commodities (EC) Act, 1955 to prevent black marketing and hoarding of medical oxygen.
Maharashtra FDA has also initiated state wide inspections of premises of medical oxygen manufacturers to ensure that 80 per cent of the oxygen is produced and supplied for C-19 treatment.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan recently stated that there is no shortage of oxygen supply at the national level and states need to monitor oxygen inventory mechanisms of hospitals so that replenishment can be done in a timely manner.
Meanwhile, NPPA has also brought liquid medical oxygen (LMO) under price control for next six months. As per sources, demand for medical oxygen has gone up almost four times, from 750 MT per day to 2,800 MT in the wake of C-19 management.
As per the notification issued by the NPPA, medical oxygen’s price has been fixed at Rs.15.22 per cubic meter (exclusive of GST) at manufactures’ end and its price at fillers’ end has been fixed at Rs. 25.71 per cubic meter, subject to transportation cost fixation at state level.
The state drug regulator recently sent across a directive to all the industrial gas manufacturers in the state to produce medical grade oxygen to cater to the growing demand for treating critically ill C-19 patients in the country.
Maharashtra FDA has outlined a plan to help manufacturers take up production of medical oxygen on war footing.
Due to excess demand, delivery through cylinders has increased from 11% pre-C-19 to 50% of current oxygen supply. It is therefore imperative to cap the price of LMO to ensure uninterrupted availability of medical oxygen through cylinders to the hospitals and consumers.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier directed state licensing authorities (SLAs) to urgently grant permission to manufacturers of industrial oxygen to manufacture medical oxygen in the light of C-19 outbreak.
The state drug regulator had recently met with the Union commerce ministry to discuss the availability of medical grade oxygen and cylinders and is in the process of collecting the data on the same besides the storage capacity of oxygen with the existing producers. Union ministry of commerce and industry and the Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) regulate the medical gases in India.