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NPPA caps price of Liquid Medical Oxygen and Medical Oxygen cylinders

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

NPPA caps price of Liquid Medical Oxygen and Medical Oxygen cylinders:


Context:

To ensure availability of medical oxygen in the country at a reasonable price amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the national drug pricing regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped the price of medical oxygen cylinders and liquid medical oxygen for six months.

Related provisions:

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare delegated powers under Section 10(2) (l) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 to NPPA to take all necessary steps to immediately regulate the availability and pricing of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and medical oxygen cylinders.

  • Oxygen Inhalation (Medicinal Gas) is a scheduled formulation, covered under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

About the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM:

Under the provisions of Drug Prices Control Order, 2013, only the prices of drugs that figure in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) are monitored and controlled by the regulator, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority.

  • Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority healthcare needs of the majority of the population.
  • The primary purpose of NLEM is to promote rational use of medicines considering the three important aspects i.e. cost, safety and efficacy.

Paragraph 19 of the DPCO, 2013, deals with increase or decrease in drug prices under extraordinary circumstances. However, there is neither a precedent nor any formula prescribed for upward revision of ceiling prices.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NPPA- functions.
  2. What is NLEM? Who maintains the list?
  3. What is the Drug Price Control Order?
  4. Section 10(2) (l) of Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Mains Link:

What is the National List of Essential Medicines? What is its significance? Discuss.

Sources: PIB.