NPPA caps prices of oxygen cylinders

Published: September 26, 2020

On September 26, 2020, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority capped the prices of oxygen cylinders and medical oxygen cylinders.

Background

The demand of medical oxygen in India has increased by four times due to COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, demand for medical oxygen in the country has increased from 750 metric tonnes per day to 2,800 metric tonnes per day.

What is the issue?

The supply of medical oxygen increased from 10% to 50% of total consumption during the pandemic. As there was no price cap on liquid medical oxygen, the manufacturers in the country hiked the prices of fillers. This is the main reason for the medical oxygen prices to shoot up. Thus, NPPA has capped the prices

About the Decision

The NPPA has fixed the price of medical oxygen cylinder at the filler end at Rs 25.71/CUM. On the other hand, the price of liquid medical oxygen at manufacturer end has been fixed at Rs 15.22/CUM. CUM is cubic metres.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

It was established in 1997. The main function of the regulator is to fix price of drugs. Also, it ensures availability and accessibility of medicines to people at affordable prices. NPPA fixes price of drugs under National List of Essential Medicines listed under Schedule I of Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO).

The DPCO was released in 2013 and it has a list of 384 drugs.

What is Medical Oxygen?

It is the purest form of oxygen used for medical treatment. To collect pure oxygen, a special technique of distillation of atmospheric air is deployed.

Oxygen Cylinders

The pure oxygen used for medical purposes comes in two different states such as liquid oxygen gas and compressed oxygen gas. Liquid oxygen is created when oxygen gas is cooled to -297 degrees Fahrenheit.

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