New Delhi: Fortis Healthcare has rejected charges of overpricing the medicines that it is giving to its patients.
In a statement, it said, “Fortis Healthcare does not charge any drug or consumables above the printed MRP and there is No Violation of Drug Price Control Order. It should also be noted that our end price to the patient is very much in line with what other private hospitals in India charge.”
“Looking at individual prices of any single item as a stand-alone takes the margin/profit topic out of context. To understand the total profit scenario and overall business performance, one should look at the financial margins for the Fortis hospital business. As such, it should be noted that the Fortis hospital business reported operating profit (EBITDA) over the last four published quarters of 5 to 6 percent and a negative PAT(profit after tax) for the same period of time.”
The statement comes days after a Haryana Government appointed panel said that Fortis Healthcare, Gurgaon, had committed some irregularities with regard to drug pricing. The regulator has asked Fortis for copies of bills for allegedly overcharging a patient at their Gurugram facility.
The hospital charged Jayant Singh nearly Rs 16 lakh for the treatment of his seven-year-old daughter, who died of dengue.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has also served a show cause notice to healthcare chain Fortis, asking it for copies of bills in a case where its hospital in Gurugram allegedly overcharged a patient suffering from dengue.
The hospital had asked Jayant Singh, a resident of Dwarka in Delhi, to pay nearly Rs 16 lakh for treating his seven-year-old daughter Adya for two weeks. Following a series of tweets from a family friend after the patient passed away, Union Health Minister J P Nadda had sought details about the matter and said that the government would investigate and take necessary action.
The regulatory body has asked Fortis’ chief executive officer and managing director for copies of invoices, names of the medicines given to the patient, the quantity administered, and the price charged.
The drug pricing organization had warned Fortis earlier that if it fails to respond, its team will inspect hospital records to collect information.
“The reports suggest that apart from hospital charges, the billing includes the inflated cost of medicine, syringes, and injectables,” it said in the letter. “The NPPA is mandated to enquire and take action in cases wherever there is a violation of Drug Price Control Order, 2013.”