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Govt Revision of Stent prices: Industry woes but Consumers Rejoice

Govt Revision of Stent prices: Industry woes but Consumers Rejoice

New Delhi: Almost a year after it slashed rates of coronary stents by up to 85 percent, the NPPA on Monday revised the ceiling prices of bare metal stents and drug-eluting ones.

In the case of bare metal stents (BMS), the government has increased the prices from current Rs 7,400 to Rs 7,660. On the other hand price of drug-eluting stents (DES) has come down to Rs 27,890 from Rs 30,180.

 

The revised prices will be effective from today, the national pharmaceutical pricing authority (NPPA) said in a notification. The ceiling prices shall also be applicable to all the stocks of coronary stents available for sale in the trade channel, it added.
The NPPA said it has been decided that there is no case for sub-classification of DES in the light of lack of enough clinical evidence to support the superiority of one DES or other. The regulator said after intensive deliberations on all the issues and available information/market statistics at its disposal, it was of the unanimous view that “cardiac stents being an essential drug under Schedule I of DPCO, 2013 and part of NLEM, 2015 having paramount importance on public health needs to continue to be kept under price regulation in larger public interest”.
The manufacturers may add goods and services tax and no other charges in the calculation of MRP, if they have actually paid such taxes or if it is payable to the government on the ceiling price specified, it added.The notification also said wherever institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and clinics performing angioplasty procedures using coronary stents are billing directly to the patients, they shall be required to comply with the ceiling prices notified and follow the applicable provisions of the DPCO, 2013.

The regulator also directed all the manufacturers to continue to ensure the availability of all the brands of coronary stents and ensure that no disruption is caused in the supply chain because of printing new MRPs.

The ceiling prices as specified the order are inclusive of 8 percent maximum permissible trade margin which is sacrosanct and no additional charge shall be charged from the consumer/patient except applicable goods and services tax, if any, paid or payable, it added.

The ceiling price fixed shall be applicable till March 31, 2019, unless revised by another notification, the notification said.

Moving away from cardiac stents, NPPA also said that based on available data from the official sources and manufacturer/importer, the trade margins for the supply of cardiac balloon catheter is as high as 405 percent over the import cost.

It was 292 percent for a cardiac drug-eluting balloon or cutting balloon, it added.

Sl No Particulars Average Margin %
(MRP–import price)
Average Margin % (MRP – PTD)
(1) (2) (3) (4)
1 Cardiac Balloon Catheter 405% 234%
2 Cardiac Guidewire 158% 112%
3 Cardiac Guiding Catheter 295% 93%
4 Cardiac Drug Eluting Balloon or Cutting Balloon 292% 140%
5 Cardiac Guiding Catheter – Special feature 172% 62%

 

Industry Response

 Mixed reactions were visible over the Monday’s price cap by the government.

Welcoming the decision, The All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) stated, “We are glad that the government did not cave to a massive pressure that was being exerted by the industry for differential pricing without any scientific basis. We are further encouraged that the NPPA has shared data on the huge trade margins involved in catheters, balloons, and guidewires, expansion of price control to these devices is a necessary step to making procedures like angioplasty/angiogram more affordable and accessible to patients.”

AIDAN has also demanded that the NPPA should write to the CCI to conduct an investigation on the large hospital chains for abusing their dominant position and overcharging for angioplasties post the price cap.

Welcoming the decision, Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) tweeted

While the move was in general welcomed by the healthcare professionals and the consumers, the move was slammed by the stent manufactures, who said that such limit is going to hinder innovation in the market and prevent manufacturers from introducing new and advances stents for the Indian patients. Stent Manufacturers had demanded a differential pricing for different class of stents and were disappointed when the government ignored their demands

Read Also: Differential Pricing for Different classes of Stents: Manufactures tell NPPA

The decision is disappointing. Will limit patient choice and the availability of innovative technologies in the market. The only saving grace in the order is NPPAs’ expression that it is open to receiving stakeholder views. Taking this expression as earnest, we will stay engaged. pic.twitter.com/zbw63ma7if Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) has shown their disappointment over the new decision of the government. Mr. Pavan Choudary, director general of  MTaI has tweeted

 

Source: With Agency Inputs
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