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Jharkhand High Court seeks Center response on controlling price of Critical Medical Equipment

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Kriti Agrawal

Jharkhand High Court has requested the Centre’s answer to its competent authority’s action in controlling the price of important medical equipment such as pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators, which are covered by the Drugs Price Control Order, 2013.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad was hearing a petition seeking directions from the Supreme Court to the Centre and the States to bring medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, and ventilator machines under price control by invoking Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and the National Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Invoking Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, the petition also requested orders to bring covid-19 vaccines, such as Covishield and Covaxin, under price control.

During the hearing, the Petitioner claimed that the Central Government issued a notification on February 11, 2020, proclaiming medical equipment to be drugs.

The petitioner was represented by Shadab Ansari, while the Centre was represented by ASGI Rajiv Sinha. The State was represented by Rajiv Ranjan and Piyush Chitresh.

The plea stated that manufacturing companies have fixed the prices of lifesaving vaccines and medical devices, and the maximum retail prices of such lifesaving vaccines and medical devices have been kept very high, which is unreasonable, unjust, and arbitrary.

On June 17, the case will be heard again.