Delhi: A recent study commissioned by AdvaMed and conducted by IQVIA on behalf of AdvaMed shows that the angioplasty procedures cost has reduced by 8-18 percent following the decision of the government to slit the prices of the coronary stents up to 80 percent. Having said that the study also concluded that the initial findings from the study indicate that benefits to patients and growth in procedure volumes have not indicated the significant change in the short term, while the long-term impact remains to be seen.
The study was conducted to understand the impact of stent price control on the overall angioplasty procedure cost and the total number of angioplasties performed across hospital segments.
In February 2017, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had slashed the prices of coronary stents in order to make angioplasty affordable and easily accessible. The regulators had brought down the price of widely used drug-eluting stents at Rs 30,000 which was earlier priced as high as Rs 200,000.
Approximately a year after price cap, the study was conducted to understand the impact of stent price control on the overall angioplasty procedure cost. The findings are based on survey and feedback of 44 interventional cardiologists, 28 hospital administrators and 204 angioplasty patients (pre and post stent price control) across hospital segments (corporate chains, large private hospitals, mid-sized private hospitals and government hospitals) in metro and tier 1 towns. Following are the findings of the study.
- 8-18% reduction in overall angioplasty procedure cost is for around 70 percent of patients undergoing single vessel procedure out of the total angioplasty patients.
- There has been an 8-12% reduction in angioplasty procedure cost at corporate hospital chains while in large private hospitals the cost is down 14-18% whereas, in medium-sized hospitals, the cost has reduced by 8-12%.
- The reduction in angioplasty procedure cost at government hospital has been 5-20%
- Patients at government-funded hospitals have also not benefitted significantly from stent price control as stents were available at less than Rs 30,000 even before price capping at the majority of these hospitals according to the study.
- The growth in the number of angioplasty procedures conducted has been in the range of 2-7%.
- There is no significant change in the growth trend of angioplasties across hospitals segments post stent price control and angioplasties continue to grow at a historical rate.
According to the survey 80% government hospitals cited no significant increase in the number of angioplasty procedures performed, and even in the remaining 20%, the increase was marginal (2-5% only) due to the lack of the following adequate infrastructure impacting access to cardiac-related procedures:
- Inadequate number of cath labs across Government hospitals to meet the demand
- Low availability of skilled interventional cardiologists to perform the procedure
The findings from the study highlighted that the singular focus on controlling prices of devices without attempting to address the large picture will not improve patient access. An enhanced access to quality care requires a holistic approach encompassing cost optimization at various levels in healthcare delivery and investments to strengthen healthcare infrastructure.
Check out the study