New Delhi: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped the trade margin of oxygen concentrators at 70%, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said on Friday.

“The NPPA has capped the mark-up up to 70 percent over the Distributor Price Level (PTD) on oxygen concentrators,” the ministry said.

The decree will be applicable until November 30 of this year, subject to revision.

The ministry said the trade margin rationalization approach was taken with the need for oxygen in mind due to the pandemic, invoking extraordinary powers under paragraph 19 of the DPCO, 2013.

According to information gathered by the government, the margin at the distributor level currently varies up to 198 percent.

“Every retailer, reseller, hospital and institution should display the price list provided by the manufacturer on a prominent part of the business premises so that it is easily accessible to anyone wishing to consult it,” he said.

The ministry further stated that manufacturers / importers failing to comply with the revised MRP after capping the trade margin, will be required to deposit the overcharged amount along with 15 percent interest and a penalty of up to 100 per cent. cent under the provisions of the Medicines (Price Control) Act 2013 Decree read together with the 1955 Essential Products Act.

He also ordered State Drug Controllers (SDC) to monitor the compliance of the prescription to ensure that no manufacturer, distributor or retailer will sell oxygen concentrators to a consumer at a price in excess of the revised MRP, in order to avoid black market cases.

Earlier, in February 2019, the NPPA succeeded in capping the trade margin on anticancer drugs. Based on the notified trade margin, the NPPA requested manufacturers / importers to report the revised MRP within three days. The revised MRPs will be made public within one week by the NPPA.

With the resurgence of cases of the Covid 2.0 pandemic in the country, the demand for medical oxygen has decreased significantly. The government is working to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen and sufficient oxygen concentrators in the country during the pandemic.

The Oxygen Concentrator is an unranked drug and currently under voluntary licensing from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). Its price is monitored under the provisions of the DPCO 2013.

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