New Delhi: Stent manufacturers want the government to apply differential pricing for drug-eluting stents by classifying them on the basis of technology used.
Such a move will reward quality and innovation to keep the segment viable while also giving physicians broader treatment options, according to two industry bodies — AdvaMed and MTaI.
Drug-eluting stents (DES) have a polymer coating over mesh that emits a drug over time that prevent blockage of arteries from recurring. These are considered superior over bare metal stents, which are a mesh-like tube of thin wires.
In February this year, the NPPA had brought stents under price control and capped their price at Rs 7,260 for bare metal variety and Rs 29,600 for DES.
The corresponding average MRPs before the price control stood at Rs 45,100 and Rs 1.21 lakh respectively.
With the government rejecting applications from Abbott and Medtronic to withdraw their advanced DES, Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) said if all the DES were treated as same on pricing front, then companies must be allowed to decide to what to sell in the market.
Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) said the government must consider the innovative nature and provide differentiation among different generations of DES and not generalise “such a high tech and hugely important sector of medical devices”.
“It is important to have a differential pricing model for making available multiple variants of DES offering varied benefits to patients and physicians,” AdvaMed said in a statement.
Suggesting three categories of DES, AdvaMed said Class I must be for majority of cases; Class II for complex cases and Class III for innovative ones.
“This will ensure that patients have access to quality medical devices, physicians have broad treatment options to address complex diseases,” it said.
Moreover, with such classification, India’s nascent medical technology industry will be rewarded for introducing new and innovative technologies by securing the economic viability of desirable products, it added
Expressing similar views, MTaI said the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had decided on one price for all drug-eluting stents on the basis that later generations of DES are not superior to earlier generations.
“So, if all the drug-eluting stents are the same, the industry should have some freedom in deciding which stents to market, as long as a broad range still stays available,” MTaI said in the statement.