NPPA steps in to cap price of liquid medical oxygen cylinders

To renew its commitment towards an uninterrupted supply of Medical Oxygen especially in the times of pandemic, Authority deliberated upon the matter in its extraordinary meeting held on 25th September 2020.

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New Delhi: The present situation of COVID-19 has resulted in increased demand for Medical Oxygen (MO) in the country and hence its availability is of utmost importance.
Oxygen Inhalation (Medicinal Gas) is a scheduled formulation, covered under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). Its existing Ceiling Price fixed by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is Rs 17.49/CUM. However, due to the absence of a price cap on liquid medical oxygen, manufacturers have hiked prices to fillers. During COVID, the supply of medical oxygen through cylinders has increased. Price regulation at this end is imperative for the continued availability of medical oxygen across the country.
To deal effectively with the situation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has vide its letter dated 23rd September, 2020 conferred the delegation of powers under Section 10(2) (l) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to NPPA to take all necessary steps to immediately regulate the availability and pricing of LMO and Medical Oxygen in the cylinder.
To renew its commitment towards an uninterrupted supply of Medical Oxygen especially in the times of pandemic, Authority deliberated upon the matter in its extraordinary meeting held on 25th September, 2020. It has been decided to invoke extraordinary powers in the public interest, under Para 19 of DPCO, 13 and under Section 10(20) (l) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 to deal with the emergent situation arising due to the pandemic.
Accordingly, it has capped the ex-factory price of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) at manufacturers end at Rs. 15.22/CUM exclusive of GST and further capped the ex-factory cost of Medical Oxygen Cylinder at filler end at Rs 25.71/CUM exclusive of GST in the suppression of the existing Ceiling Price of Rs 17.49/CUM, subject to transportation cost fixation at the state level, for six months.
The existing rate contracts of state governments for oxygen purchase, as applicable, shall continue, in consumer interest. The ex-factory price cap of LMO and oxygen gas cylinders will be applicable to domestic production.
The above measures will ensure the availability of medical oxygen at consumers end at a reasonable price both at the hospital level and through oxygen cylinders, especially to distant and interior districts.