New Delhi : Expressing serious concern over affordability in health care, a network of doctors asked the Centre to review pricing of coronary stents to stop the device industry from making “huge” profits.
The Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Care (ADEH) also urged the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to permit sellers 20 per cent profit margins on the cost price of stents.
“The price of stents, implants and drugs need a serious review since they are life saving products. It has been observed that many a times the stents are put in the rich and the affluent just for the sake of profit. For the poor the prices are already so high that they are unable to afford.
“Therefore this consultation with the NPPA is of extreme importance. Stents form major cost of the angioplasty and stenting procedure. Various types of coronary stents are available with the cost ranging from Rs 24,000 to Rs 60,000. But the MRP mentioned on the stent pack is several times higher thus giving huge profit,” ADEH said.
ADEH, which has eminent doctors like Samiran Nundy of Gangaram Hospital, G S Grewal (Former President, Punjab Medical Council) and Arun Mitra (Former Chairman, Ethics Committee of Punjab Medical Council) said that the high prices increases the cost to the patient.
“The seller should be given around 20 per cent profit margin on the cost price. Thus the MRP should be around 20 per cent higher than the cost price to the end customer. The cost price quoted by the manufacturer should be calculated on the basis of the cost accountancy i.E actual cost involved in the profit making.
“The price of each stent should be displayed in the reception counter of the facility putting stents. Patient should be given choice of the stent with full scientific explanation. The indigenous production should be encouraged and facilitated. Import duty and other taxes should be waived off,” ADEH said.
The Alliance said that a separate bill of the stent should also be given to patient while there should be regular audit of such facilities.
“The manufacturers should put the details of their product on the website along with its cost. The stents should be brought under Drug Price Control Order at par with the medicines,” ADEH said.
Noting that similar problem exists with the generic drugs, the Alliance said that the generic drugs are meant to be sold at low cost to the patients but the MRP is much higher as compared to the cost price.