NEW DELHI: The drug price regulator capped the trade margin of five widely-used medical devices, particularly for management of Covid-19, like pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitoring machine, nebulizer, digital thermometer and glucometer at 70%.
The move is expected to result in a significant drop in MRP of these products that are in high demand with many Covid patients under home isolation and treatment needing regular monitoring of blood pressure, blood sugar and oxygen level as well as fever, etc. The data collected by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) shows earlier the margins were ranging up to 709% from price to distributor to MRP level.
The revised prices will come into effect from July 20 and remain in force up to January 31, 2022 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the regulator said. The regulator invoked provisions of the Para 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order in ‘public interest’ to regulate the price of these five devices under the ‘Trade Margin Rationalisation Approach’.
Manufacturers of such medical devices have been asked to revise their retail price based on the price at the first point of sale of product or the price to the stockist after including the trade margin as capped. Manufacturers who are selling at a price which assumes a higher trade margin than what is capped now, will now have to revise prices downward and the NPPA has asked the manufacturers for a price list and a copy to state drug controllers and dealers by July 20. The MRP will be according to the fixed trade margin.
Trade margin is the difference between the price at which a manufacturer sells the device or product to a distributor or stockist and the price paid by the end consumer (MRP). Every retailer, dealer, hospital and institution will have to display the price list and the supplementary price list, as furnished by the manufacturer, in a manner so as to be easily accessible to any person wishing to consult the same, NPPA said.
Any manufacturer not complying will be “liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with 15% annual interest from the date of increase in price in addition to penalty of up to 100% of the overcharged amount, it said.