New Delhi: NPPA seems to be shifting its focus on syringes and needles, as these medical equipment are being sold at very high margins.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) based on the available data from official sources, manufactures and importers has analyzed the trade margins in the syringes and needles and found that the manufactures were hiking their prices more than 1000 percent, 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 case of the syringes is as high as 214% to 1251%. While in case of needles it is as high as 57% to 789%.
Whereas, the average trade margin in case of syringes is varied between 214% – 664%. In case of needles, it varies from 57% to 356%.
The NPPA analysis put out the average Price to Distributor (PTD) for different types of needles and syringes, their average MRPs, and the difference between. For example, a 50 ml Hypodermic Disposable Syringe without needle has shown to have an average Price to Distributor (PTD) of Rs16.96 and an average MRP of Rs 97. A 0.5 ml Hypodermic Autodisable Syringe with needle has an average PTD of Rs 2.60 and an average MRP of Rs 12, and a 1ml Insulin syringe without needle has an average PTD of Rs 2.99 and an average MRP of Rs 10.63.
In case of needle, a Disposable Hypodermic Needle is made for Rs 1.48 and sold at Rs 4.33. A blood collection needle is made for Rs 2.60 and sold at Rs 9. A spinal needle is made for Rs. 626.32 and sold for Rs. 1304. A biopsy needle is manufactured for Rs. 1183.76 and sold for Rs. 2179.
“The data are showing that in yet another instance of inflated pricing, the MRPs bear no relation to the costs of manufacturing,” said the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), a civil society network that works on health and pharmaceuticals.
AIDAN further said in a statement, “These trade margins show how companies have artificially raised the MRPs at the behest of hospitals. While a segment of the syringe manufacturers attempted self-regulation, they have admitted defeat because hospital accounts were going to the few companies that refused to comply with the voluntary code. Syringes and needles are among the most commonly used devices which account for huge bills and being used by hospitals to indiscriminately fleece, unbeknownst by patients. Let alone take proactive action, the government is busy weakening the regulator. AIDAN demands that the government impose price control immediately not only on syringes and needles but also remaining devices coming notified as drugs and any other commonly used devices.”
“The reason for these markups is that the market got distorted some years ago. Most companies could not sustain without following this trend of high trade margins,” said Pavan Choudhary, President of the Medical Technology Association of India, a lobby group for several research-based medical technology companies.
AISNMA claimed that the “very high” margins in NPPA’s latest report are motivated by “an unhealthy race to defend or attain hospital and retailer customers” through trade margins higher than competitors. Only 16 out of 18 of the group’s members have agreed to its self-regulation proposal.
Rajiv Nath, President, AISNMA told ET, “I guess NPPA will have to step in to regulate these errant manufacturers.” He also added, “If losing hospital accounts is the reward available to ethical manufacturers, it is demotivating.”
Below is the attachment of the NPPA notification