MNCs demand introduction of separate category of high-end cardiac stents to skirt price cap, face flak

The demand to introduce a separate category of “technologically advanced and superior quality stents” that can be priced higher has been protested by Indian manufacturers and health activists.

Published: 05th February 2018 08:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2018 10:01 PM   |  A+A-

coronary stent

Image used for representational purpose. (File photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A demand by the multinational cardiac stent manufacturers to introduce a separate category of “technologically advanced and superior quality stents” that can be priced higher has been protested by Indian manufacturers and health activists.

In February 2017, India’s National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority had fixed a price of Rs 30,000 on coronary stents—a tiny device used in angioplasty to improve blood flow in the arteries to treat blockade in the heart. The move had led to prices of stents being slashed by up to 85 per cent.

 The decision, however, also caused the withdrawal of several global stent manufacturers from Indian market who have since then been lobbying with the government bodies to create a separate category of high end stents to skirt the price cap.

The NPPA, on Monday, held a meeting with several industry representatives and civil society members to get their feedback before it decides on whether stent prices need to be reviewed this year.

“Representatives of companies like Abbot, Boston Scientific and Medtronics tried hard to pursue the officials that high end stents are useful in case of complex and difficult cases but were told that an expert panel of the Ministry of health and family welfare has sought down the idea,” said a source in the NPPA.

Pawan choudary of medical Technology Association of India said after the meeting:, “NPPA should consider creating sub-categories for stents to ensure that significant technological innovation stays commercially rewardable.”

Ganesh Rawat, CEO of Sahajanand Medical Techologies, an Indian coronary manufacturer however said that Indian companies did not support the claim put forth by the manufacturers from US and other countries.

“There should be inflation related price adjustments though,” he said.

Mira Shiva of All India Drug Action Network that has been at the forefront of the debate that had led to the price capping of the medical device said that the foreign manufacturers were pushing an idea “without any scientific basis or evidences”.

“They claim that the stents they provide is superior and should cost more but where is the proof?” she asked.

Shiva also suggested that there should be a five-yearly price review of the medical device instead of the proposed annual review.

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