New Delhi: Abbott has taken up the decision to stop the sales of sales of its bioresorbable coronary stent ‘Absorb’ globally due to low commercial sales.
A Bioresorbable Scaffold Absorb is used to clear blockages in the arteries and prevent heart attacks in patients with ischemic heart disease, a condition that affects the blood supply to the heart.
The company will stop the global sales of Absorb stent from September 14, Abbott announced on its global website late on Friday.
A spokesperson from Abbott told ET, “We are in touch with regulators and the pricing authority in India and have informed them on the discontinuation of Absorb globally due to low commercial sales.”
“The decision to discontinue was taken for commercial reasons, not for safety. The scaffold had to be discontinued due to low sales volume and because it cost more to make the product than what the company could sell it for, making it unsustainable. Absorb sales accounted for less than 1% of Abbott’s overall stent sales globally, including in India,” the person added.
After withdrawing dissolvable stent ‘Absorb’ globally, Abbott is also reported to have approached the drug pricing regulator to stop the sales of ‘XIENCE Alpine’, metallic drug-eluting stent from India, nearly four months after the government blocked multinational companies from withdrawing their latest stents from India over price control issues.
“We applied for Alpine withdrawal back in April and the application was rejected. We continue to remain engaged with the NPPA to determine the way forward for Alpine in India,” a spokesperson from Abbott told ET.
In April, Abbott, Medtronic and Boston Scientific had approached NPPA to withdraw their premium stents from the Indian market due to the price capson stents but government block them to withdraw and had ordered them to continue supply for six months from the price cap.
In February, NPPA had slashed prices of life-saving drug-eluting and bioresorbable stents coronary stents by capping their prices at Rs 29,600.
While multinational medical device firms have been most affected by this move, Indian firms with stents they hoped to sell at a premium have also become more cautious. Meril Life Sciences, which had developed and received approval to market for its own bioresorbable vascular scaffold ‘MeRes100’ in February, is yet to launch the product reports ET.
An industry source aware of the development said this was because the company was unsure whether it would be viable to sell the product here now that the prices have been dropped.