New Delhi: All India Syringes and Needles Manufacturers Association (AISNMA) has written a letter to NELM on price capping of essential syringes and needles. It is probably the first time when any manufacturing association has itself sought price control. al.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that in order to make the consumables and medical devices affordable to the patients, manufacturers of disposable syringes had voluntarily decided to put a ceiling on trade margins at 75 per cent after NPPA called a meeting in this matter.
The All India Syringes and Needles Manufacturers Association had issued a circular to its members to print the maximum retail price (MRP) on the basis of a maximum of 75% margin with effect. The policy move covers all categories of syringes and needles – disposable, auto-disable, reuse prevention, needle stick prevention, insulin pen needle etc.
The self regulation came after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) based on the available data from official sources, manufactures and importers analyzed the trade margins in the syringes and needles and found that the manufactures were hiking their prices more than 1000 per cent, from the cost of the manufacturing to the price at which they’re sold to consumers. According to NPPA data, the maximum trade margin in the case of the syringes is as high as 214% to 1251%. While in the case of needles it is as high as 57% to 789%.
However, four companies — Lifelong Meditech, Becton Dickinson, B Braun Medical and NIPRO Medical — did not follow the advisory, prompting the association to ask the government to come out with formal regulations over their prices
Rajiv Nath, president, All India Syringes and Needles Manufacturers Association (AISNMA) told TOI, adding, “We want a level playing field. Hospitals need not sell at the MRP and are free to sell under it, but doctors have been blaming us (manufacturers) for high prices. With price caps or cap on trade margins, our endeavour is to make hospitals focus on making the procurement decision on the quality of the medical device and cost minimisation, rather than the current skewed practice of higher margins and profit maximisation. This has taken away the motivation of hospitals to be cost competitive, and patients feel exploited leading to a trust deficit.”
Earlier, CIC probe on Max Hospital and Beckton Dickson India Pvt. Ltd, a manufacturer of disposable syringes, who had come under CCI after an allegation by the patient that the latter is provided syringes exclusively to the hospital. It had been alleged that Beckton Dickson was supplying Max Hospital disposable syringe exclusively, which mean that they are only Beckton Syringes available in the hospital. Further, it was alleged that the same was supplied to the patients at higher than MRP Cost( at the hospital premise).