The government is taking all steps to ensure sufficient availability of critical medical equipment for clinical management of COVID-19, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said on Thursday.
In a statement, it said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has identified a list of critical medical equipment and has requested the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure availability of the same in the country.
In line with this, NPPA has called for price-related data from manufacturers and importers of pulse oximeter and oxygen concentrator to ensure that prices existing as on April 1, 2020 are not increased more than 10 per cent in a year, it added.
A stakeholders' consultation with medical devices industry associations and civil society groups was held by NPPA on Wednesday wherein it was stressed that all the manufacturers and importers of critical medical equipment shall ensure sufficient availability of the same in the country.
It has been reiterated that all medical devices have come under price regulation under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013 with effect from April 1, 2020. Accordingly, "price increase of medical devices would be monitored under Para 20," the statement added.
NPPA Chairman Shubhra Singh also urged the industry that it is not 'business as usual' and public health emergency is not a time for profiteering.
The medical devices industry associations have been urged to bring down the retail prices of critical medical equipment in larger public interest in the prevailing situation, as has been done by the manufacturers and importers of N-95 masks, the statement added.