NPPA caps medical oxygen prices to curb black marketing
New Delhi: Through a recent Gazette Notification, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has directed the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to cap the price of liquid oxygen at Rs. 15.22 per cubic meter on the manufacturing end, whereas, for oxygen cylinders, the price cap is Rs 25.71 per CM. Both prices are exclusive of the GST.
The Authority has been directed to take all necessary steps under clause (l) of subsection (2) of section 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to immediately regulate the availability and pricing of the LMO & Medical Oxygen Cylinders.
This comes in wake of the need for medical oxygen rising exponentially in the past six months, up almost four times from pre-Covid19 times, which has put harmful pressure on production and supply chains, thus giving rise to black marketeers.
NPPA, in its meeting on 25.09.2020 examined the issue at length including the recommendations of the EG2 and inter-ministerial committee, and decided to cap the price of LMO & Oxygen Inhalation (Medicinal gas) in the cylinder.
In a statement, NPPA, said, "The Government is committed to uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen, especially in the times of a pandemic."
"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."
"The above measures will ensure availability of medical oxygen at consumer end at a reasonable price both at hospital level and through oxygen cylinders, especially to distant and interior districts."
The inter-ministerial committee constituted by NPPA to monitor prices of APIs and formulations needed for COVID-19 has recommended that there is a need to cap the price of LMO and Medical Oxygen in cylinders, the notification added
Taking note of the situation, NPPA has now put a cap both on liquid medical oxygen (LMO) that is carried in tankers and supplies to the hospitals as well as oxygen that is available in stand-alone cylinders.
Therefore, in exercise of extraordinary powers, conferred by paragraph 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013, read with S.O. No. 1394(E) dated the 30th May, 2013 issued by the Government of India in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, and powers conferred under section 10(2)(l) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 delegated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare vide Order No. Z-33014/45/2020-RCH/Pt.File-3 dated 23.09.2020, the Authority, in view of extraordinary circumstances as noted above, hereby in public interest, caps and notifies the price as specified in column (4) of the Table below as maximum price (ex-factory) exclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST) as applicable, in respect of the formulation specified in the corresponding entry in column (2) of the said Table with unit specified respectively in the corresponding entries in columns (3) thereof:
Name of the Drug
Maximum Price (ex-factory) Excluding GST (Rs.)
Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO)
Oxygen Inhalation (Medicinal gas) in cylinder