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Covid-19: NPPA notifies medical devices as drugs to cap their prices

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

Huge potential The Indian medical device sector is the fourth largest in Asia and is worth $5.5 billion   -  Czgur

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has dispelled all fears over Covid-19 causing disruption in supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).

It has also increased the ceiling price of 883 scheduled formulations, in compliance of the provisions of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013. In another change, it brought in medical devices under price control by defining them as ‘drugs’, under the DPCO. These decisions were taken at its meeting on March 31.

“The Authority noted with satisfaction that the supply disruption of APIs caused by Covid-19 outbreak is returning to normalcy and no unusual price fluctuations in price of inputs for medicines, amid virus spread have been reported. Hence, normal price revisions have been allowed,” NPPA has stated.

Increase in ceiling price is based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI), which is 1.88468 per cent, it said.

The revision in ceiling price of formulations includes the revision of ceiling price of cardiac stents also now stand at ₹8,417 for bare metal stents and ₹30,647 for drug eluting stents.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said that all 24 classes of medical devices have been relegated as drugs so that no manufacturer will increase their MRP beyond 10 per cent in a year.

Agarwal also said that under Lifeline Udan initiative of Ministry of Civil Aviation, 74 flights have been operated till date for transporting medical cargo across the country. A total of 37.63 tonnes of cargo has been transported till date out of which more than 22 tonnes has been transported on March 31.

1,637 confirmed cases

As on April 1, the Health Ministry has reported 1637 confirmed cases of Covid-19, of which 132 have been cured and 38 have died. Agarwal said, “During last 24 hours, 376 new cases have been reported, and three new deaths have been recorded.” This is the single largest spike since the beginning of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, Trade Ministers from SAARC countries have decided to meet soon to discuss a common strategy to handle trade issues amidst the disruption caused by the Covid-19 virus.

Published on April 01, 2020

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