New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has directed the states and Union Territories to make sure that these products are not sold in prices exceeding the maximum retail price (MRP) printed on the pack size, the government said on Friday.
The decision comes keeping in reports regarding non-availability and black marketing of Surgical and protective masks, hand sanitizers and gloves and as a measure of preparedness to address the challenge of outbreak of COVID-19.
In a press statement shared through Press Information Bureau (PIB), the government claimed that the NPPA had requested to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to notify the above mentioned items as drugs with immediate effect to enable NPPA to regulate the availability and prices of them.
The request was then approved by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday under clause (I) of sub-section (2) of section 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The approval mandated National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to regulate the availability and prices of the Surgical and protective masks, Hand sanitizers and Gloves.
“Accordingly, NPPA has directed to all State/UT Governments, in public interest, in order to deal with the situation arising out of COVID-19, to take necessary steps to ensure sufficient availability of Surgical and protective masks, Hand sanitizers and Gloves at prices not exceeding the maximum retail prices (MRP) printed on the pack size,” the statement reads.
NPPA also directed the authorities to ensure that hoarding, black marketing and profiteering of these products is not carried out.The total number of COVID-19 cases in India touched 81 on Friday, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal said.