Covid-19: Govt notifies oximeters, oxygen concentrators as drugs

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Amid the devastating wave of coronavirus, the Jammu and Kashmir government has notified pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators as drugs and restricted a sudden increase in the maximum retail price (MRP).

The circular by the Drug Controller Drugs and Food Control Organisation, Jammu and Kashmir, reviewed by The Kashmir Walla, has come as the complaints of price hike in the equipment, with rising demands, pour in.

A violator will “be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest thereon from the date of increase in price in addition to penalty”, the circular added.

It further read: “Pulse oxymeters and oxygen concentrators have been notified as drugs under the provisions of Drugs price control order DPCO 2013 w.e.f 1st of April 2020. In this regard the MRP of Pulse oxymeters and oxygen concentrators shall be monitored under Para 20 of DPCO, 2013.”

As per the order, the government shall monitor the MRP of all the drugs, including the non-scheduled formulations, and ensure that no manufacturer increases the maximum price of a drug more than ten percent of retail price during preceding twelve months.

It has been further mentioned in the circular that “no manufacturer and importer can increase the MRP of Pulse Oxymeters and oxygen concentrators by more than 10% of MRP during preceding 12 months.”

Sheikh Ashiq, the president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, has asked all the stakeholders to procure adequate number of equipment — including pulse oxymeters and oxygen concentrators — that are used in dealing with the prevailing pandemic.

“I have strictly asked stakeholders to keep the stock ready, stabilise the price of the equipment and make minimum of the minimum profit on items needed to deal with the pandemic,” Ashiq told The Kashmir Walla.

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