Govt. invokes Disaster Management Act to regulate prices, availability of masks, sanitizers, gloves

New Delhi, March 14, 2020

The Government has invoked the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to mandate the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to regulate the availability and prices of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitizers and gloves.

This follows reports regarding non-availability and blackmarketing of these items after a surge in demand for them as part of the precautions against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The NPPA had requested the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to notify the above-mentioned items as drugs with immediate effect to enable it to regulate such items in public interest.

Accordingly, NPPA vide order dated 13th March, 2020 has directed all State and UT Governments, in public interest, in order to deal with the situation arising out of COVID-19, to take necessary steps to ensure sufficient availability of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitizers and loves at prices not exceeding the maximum retail prices (MRP) printed on the pack size, an official press release said.

State Governments have also been directed to monitor the production and distribution of the items by the manufacturers, importers, stockists and retailers and ensure that hoarding, black marketing and profiteering did not happen, the release added.


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