MoH warns medical equipment industry against price gouging

August 12, 2021 - 17:00
Manufacturers, importers and suppliers must not increase the price or speculate with biological products and medical equipment that serve COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control.
A patient on a ventilator.— Illustrative Photo

HÀ NỘI — Manufacturers, importers and suppliers must not increase the price or speculate with products that serve COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control.

Such moves could cause negative affects in the fight against the pandemic in localities across the country, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

The ministry requires medical equipment suppliers and traders to seriously update and transparently publish the prices of medical equipment on the ministry’s e-portal.

The ministry also ordered manufacturers, importers and suppliers to actively research and grasp the current demand of biological products and medical equipment to ensure smooth supply during the pandemic.

Manufacturers, importers and suppliers were told to make plans to prepare the material sources, as well as improve production and import capacity to meet demand, the ministry said.

In case of force majeure, for example, if there was a price fluctuation due to the pandemic’s impact, manufacturers, suppliers and importers must update prices and clearly explain the reasons why prices were adjusted to medical facilities, hospitals and localities.

In a related move, the ministry sent Document No 6546/BYT-TB-CT on Wednesday to An Sinh Medical Investment and Development Joint Stock Company to order the company to clarify on the e-portal why the price of ventilators it provided had doubled.

Under the document, the ministry’s Department of Medical Equipment and Construction found that the company’s price of the imported ventilator was VNĐ960.5 million (US$42,200) on the ministry’s e-portal.

However, the department was notified that the company gave the price of only VNĐ455 million for each ventilator to a number of medical facilities.

Therefore, the ministry ordered the company to urgently send a report to explain why the price published on the ministry’s e-portal was double compared to the price given to medical facilities.

The report must be sent to the ministry before 5pm on Friday. If the company failed to send the report as per the deadline, the ministry will immediately suspend the company’s account on the e-portal. — VNS