172@29@17@103!~!172@29@0@53!~!|news|india|covid-19-update-nppa-caps-price-of-liquid-medical-oxygen-and-medical-oxygen-cylinders-5888331.html!~!news|moneycontrol|com!~!|controller|infinite_scroll_article.php!~!is_mobile=false
Moneycontrol
Watch experts decode 'The rise of ESG investing' on October 29 at 4pm. Register Now!
you are here: HomeNewsIndia
Last Updated : Sep 26, 2020 03:02 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

COVID-19 update | NPPA caps price of liquid medical oxygen and medical oxygen cylinders

Manufacturers had approached the government to increase the ceiling price of gaseous MO to cope with the strain on production and the supply value chain due to high demand

Representative Image (REUTERS/Mike Blake)
Representative Image (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Taking cognizance of increased demand for oxygen amid the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said it will cap the price of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and medical oxygen (MO) cylinders.

“The present situation has resulted in increased demand for MO in the country and hence its availability is of utmost importance,” a statement from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers read.

It has decided to cap the price of LMO at the manufacturers' end at Rs 15.22/CUM exclusive of Goods & Services Tax. The ex-factory cost of MO cylinder at the fillers' end has been capped at Rs 25.71/CUM (exclusive of GST) in suppression of the existing ceiling price of Rs 17.49/CUM, subject to transportation cost fixation at state level, for six months.

Close

NPPA said the existing rate contracts of state governments for oxygen purchase, as applicable, will continue, “in consumer interest”, while the ex-factory price cap of LMO and oxygen gas cylinders will be applicable to domestic production.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

Reviewing the situation, the ministry noted that in many states and Union Territories (UTs) are dependent on supply from other states to meet their MO supply requirements, which has pushed up demand by almost four times to 2,800 MT per day.

As per the statement, manufacturers had approached the government to increase the ceiling price of gaseous MO to cope with strain on the production and supply value chain due to high demand.

Follow our LIVE Updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

Adding that the Centre is “committed to uninterrupted supply of MO especially in times of the pandemic,” it noted that oxygen inhalation (medicinal gas) is a scheduled formulation which is covered under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

“Existing ceiling price of oxygen inhalation (medicinal gas) fixed by NPPA is Rs 17.49/CUM. But since there is no price cap for MO, manufacturers have hiked prices to fillers. During COVID, supply of medical oxygen through cylinders has increased to around 50 percent from 10 percent of total consumption. Price regulation at this end is imperative for continued availability of MO across the country,” it stated.

With regard to issues related to availability, the Empowered Group 2 has recommended that the NPPA consider: 1) Capping the ex-factory price of liquid oxygen in order to ensure its supply to fillers at reasonable prices; and 2) Cap ex-factory price of oxygen in cylinders to ensure supply of oxygen cylinders from fillers at reasonable prices.

The mentioned steps will be undertaken as per the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare's letter, dated September 23, which conferred the delegation of powers to NPPA to take all necessary steps to immediately regulate the availability and pricing of LMO and MO in cylinders.

Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here
First Published on Sep 26, 2020 03:02 pm
Sections