Maharashtra FDA asks NPPA to fix prices of N-95 mask, PPE kits

▴ Maharashtra FDA asks NPPA to fix prices of N-95 mask, PPE kits
N-95 equivalent mask and PPE kits are available purchasable at various prices

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has written a letter to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) with an invitation to cap the ceiling prices of N-95 masks, its equivalent masks and PPE kits.

Earlier, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India had declared that hand sanitisers and masks (2 ply, 3 ply surgical masks and N95 masks) as essential commodities (EC) under the EC Act, 1955 for prevention of hoarding, black marketing and profiteering of those items. Later, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, vide notification dated March 21, 2020, fixed the ceiling prices of two ply masks, 3 ply masks and hand sanitisers announcing that it'll be effective till June 30, 2020, but N95 masks remained out of control .

Maharashtra FDA’s letter to the NPPA mentioned that within the current situation of the COVID-19 outbreak, the need of PPE Kits, N-95 Mask and its equivalent mask have increased tremendously, and consumers aren't conscious of the precise MRP of the above items. So, within the interest of public health and availability at reasonable rates to make sure sufficient availability, it's necessary to regulate the costs of those products also, as within the market various sorts of N-95, its equivalent mask and PPE kits are available purchasable at various prices.

JB Mantri, Joint Commissioner, State Controller Maharashtra and State Drug Controlling authority informed, “Presently, within the state, there are two leading players of N-95 masks; Venus and Magnum, with manufacturing facilities at Taloja and Vasai respectively. However, there are other players also , thanks to an increase in demand for both these products the availability has increased significantly. But, it's noted that the MRP printed by a number of the manufacturers is exorbitant, therefore common public, private doctors, doctors and paramedical staff privately hospitals are forced to pay the said higher printed prices. So, we've requested the NPPA, who may be a price monitoring competent authority, to repair the worth of N-95 masks and its equivalent masks also as PPE kits to make sure affordability and availability.”

However, another State Drug Controller, who wished to stay anonymous, stated, “We don't see any exorbitant prices being charged for N-95 masks within the market. In fact, we don't even see any problem within the demand and provide curve, therefore it shouldn’t be considered for a price cap.” He justifies that there are a limited number of manufacturers involved in manufacturing of N-95 masks and its equivalent masks within the country. Bringing the merchandise under the worth control regime can cause a shortage of product within the market.”

In the retail market, the worth of N-95 masks varies between Rs 200-300. Whereas, as per Government guidelines it's to tend within the price range of Rs 50 – 90.

Tags : #Coronavirus #Maharashtra #Pricetag #PPE #Mask

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