This Consumer Day a host of medical aid seekers will heave a sigh of relief.
The All India Syringes and Needles Manufacturers Association, in a circular, has requested all its members to print the maximum retail price (MRP) – on the basis of a maximum of 75% margin – from December 24.
The implementation of this directive has to be done by January 26, 2018.
This circular was issued after a meeting called by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on December 18. This meeting shed light on the inconvenience the general public faced due to excessively high and unreasonable margins on syringes and needles.
At this meeting, NPPA chairman Bhupendra Singh suggested the manufacturers of syringes and needles regulate the prices themselves and provide a voluntary cap, the failure of which would cause the government to take steps, as it did with the capping of the rates of stents and orthopaedic implants.
Also, the recent cases of renowned hospitals overcharging patients caused much uproar.
“AISNMA’s executive and the larger membership decided that it was important to protect patients and the reputation of the industry. Hence it decided to impose a voluntary capped trade margin of 75% over the discounted net ex-factory price (including GST),” the circular explained, reports the Times of India.
The decision will have all syringes and needles – disposable, auto-disable, reuse prevention and insulin pen needle alike under its purview.
The members of the All India Syringes and Needles Manufacturers Association make up over 85% of the market players for syringes and needles in India.
Their collective move to print MRP on a 75% margin will act as a voluntary cap by the association itself. It is assumed that this will push foreign manufacturers to adopt the practice as well, due to market pressure as well.
“We estimate that for many brands of syringes in the hospital segment, the prices will fall by at least two-thirds and in the chemists segment for many brands it will fall by half except for brands which were already selling for less than 75% trade margin,” Rajiv Nath, president of AISNMA and chairman and MD of Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd, told TOI.
All manufacturers have been given time until January 2018 to help clear current stocks and make a hassle-free transition.