Last Updated on July 31, 2021 by The Health Master
Ninety one per cent of the five medical device brands on which a 70 per cent trade margin cap was imposed have shown a price reduction, said senior official from the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). The price reduction in these cases was up to 88 per cent.
The drug price regulator has capped the trade margin at Price to Distributor (PTD) at 70 per cent for pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitoring machine, nebuliser, digital thermometer and glucometer through a Gazette Notification on July 13, 2021. The manufacturers and importers were directed to comply with the notification and submit revised MRP in the prescribed format to the authority, to the State drug controllers and dealers by July 20.
“It is a matter of satisfaction that we have seen a significant reduction in prices. We have received revised price listings from almost 800 brands from these five medical devices. Prices of 91 per cent of the brands have come down. I think that the public will be able to recognise this price cut in a significant way,” said Shubhra Singh, chairman of NPPA in an interview with the national television.
NPPA had observed that these devices are important in managing Covid-19 pandemic, not only for home use, but in hospital management too. It also learnt that these are sold at up to 700 per cent margin at distributor level. These five medical devices are not scheduled drugs and there are no ceiling prices on these products.
“So we invoked extraordinary powers for the benefit of the public and capped the margins at 70 per cent at the trader level,” she said.
When the Authority reduce the prices, we also ensure that there is no shortage of medicines. When it capped the margins at 70 per cent at trade level, manufacturers don’t have an impact. One third of the domestic brands have reduced prices, but for imported brands, it was almost double. This is a booster dose in the arm for Make in India, as the competition is at a better level. Industry associations have also appreciated and supported the move, said Singh.
In June, 2021, NPPA has reduced the price of oxygen concentrator, by 70 per cent and 54 per cent of prices came down and there was no issue in availability. If prices come down by Rs 5,000-15,000 for each devices, it will be helpful for people both in hospitals and in home management. It is a win-win situation for manufacturers, traders and customers, she added.