Following an intervention by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure availability of N-95 masks at affordable rates across the country, major manufacturers and importers have slashed prices of the masks by up to 47 per cent, the government said on Monday, May 25.
The N95 masks are a respiratory protective device capable of filtering airborne particles including coronavirus. These were earlier being sold in the market for ₹150 to 300 per unit and following the NPPA advisory, the prices have now been cut.
In a press release, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers said that other manufacturers and importers of N-95 Masks are expected to follow the advice of the government and slash the prices of the masks in the public interest.
"To address the issue of higher prices of the N-95 Masks, NPPA intervened to bring down the prices. In this regard, in order to ensure availability of N-95 Masks at affordable prices in the country, NPPA issued an Advisory on 21st May 2020 to all the manufacturers/ importers/ suppliers of the N-95 Masks to maintain parity in prices for non-government procurements and to make available the same at reasonable prices," said the press release.
The NPPA has also submitted before the Bombay High Court on the plea on bringing price cap on the protective device that it is looking at mismatch in the demand-supply of N-95 masks in the country and has advised manufacturers, importers and suppliers to cut prices voluntarily, the statement said.
"After issuing such an Advisory, major manufacturers/ importers of N-95 Masks have reduced their prices significantly up to 47 per cent leading to availability of N-95 Masks in the country at affordable prices," it added.
The government had earlier notified N-95 masks as an essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The NPPA had also directed all state governments to ensure sufficient availability of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves at prices not exceeding the maximum retail price printed on the pack size.Also Read: Punjab Govt All Set To Provide Free Ration To 14 Lakh Migrant Workers Under Atmanirbhar Scheme