NewDelhi: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has announced new price control measures for stents used in angioplasty procedures. The new price caps are aimed at cracking down on profiteering and maintain affordability, the agency said.
The NPPA has capped the prices of drug-eluting stents (DES) at Rs 27,890 and bare metal stents at Rs 7,660. It said it had found it imperative to cap the margin for these items at eight percent. Before the notification, DES had been priced at Rs 30,180 and bare metal stents at 7,400. The new price caps have come into effect immediately, and will remain valid till March 2019.
The NPPA order on this said stents need to continue to be kept under price regulation in larger public interest. “_ to prevent the cardiac stents market falling back to its old archaic state characterized by exorbitant margins leading to exploitative pricing, unethical profiteering and an extraordinary failed market system causing unwarranted and unreasonable economic burden on out of pocket expenses of hapless patients and their families (sic),” read the text of the order.
The order also included a number of directions to hospitals, stent manufacturers and markets. It directed them to cap the price at the new levels on existing stock as well as new stock. It told them that the final MRP of the stents should only include the relevant taxes.
The order also instructed hospitals against forcing patients to buy stents from them and ensure availability of all brands. The hospitals were also asked to show the price of the stents and their type in the billing, separately from catheters and other items.
The NPPA also warned hospitals and manufacturers against allowing any disruption of the supply chain under the pretext of printing the fresh prices.