Is the condom a ‘medicine’ or a ‘device’? Abhishek Singhvi will soon tell!

After being caught with his pants down in an unceremonious sex tape on an earlier occasion, Abhishek Manu Singhvi is all set to tell us if a condom is a medicine or a device. One of the counsels representing the luxury condom manufacturing brand, Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd, whose review application to keep condoms out of Drug Pricing Control Order (DPCO) 2013, has been refused by the central government, Singhvi, along with others, will, in all likelihood, fight the case on behalf of the company in Delhi high court, where government’s people-friendly decision of fixing the condom price has been challenged.

Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd, manufacturer of two popular condom brands in the country, had moved the high court challenging the government order on fixing the maximum price of condoms. In the HC last month during the hearing, the company had said that without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the company, it shall file a review application under DPCO with the government and the high court had said that if such a review application is filed, it shall be decided as expeditiously as possible but not later than four weeks thereafter.

Speaking to Millennium Post, R Jawahar Lal, counsel for Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd, said, ‘We had approached the government with our review application but they have refused to entertain our application. The matter is in the high court where it would be heard next month’.

As per the DPCO, 2013, which has come into effect last month, the ceiling price of a condom, including taxes, has been fixed at Rs 6.56 per condom. The central government had last year included condoms in the list of essential medicine, thereby controlling its MRP. However, the company said that a base price could not have been calculated for condoms as there is no ‘generic formulation for a condom which can be used to determine the base price.’

The luxury condom brand has opposed fixing maximum price of condom saying that low ceiling price will force bigger companies to stop production and it will have a negative effect on population control.

While the government has argued in the court that condom comes under the classification of medicine as it helps in prevention of various diseases, the condom company has maintained that condoms come under the category of ‘devices’ and not ‘medicine,’ citing the example of valves and stents, which are exempted from DPCO, 2013.
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