After including drug eluting stents and bare metal stents in the National List of Essential Medicines in July last year, the government of India added them to the Schedule I of the Drug Prices Control Order, 2013, last December, and brought the devices under price control.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has capped a drug eluting stent at $458 and a bare metal stent at $112. All stent manufacturers as well as importers will now have to price their products below the notified ceiling price.
Since hospitals also function as retailers of stents they will also be required to display the prices prominently in the hospital premises, per the Drug Price Control Order 2013, reports BusinessLine.
Health groups, such as the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, expressed satisfaction with the decision. “After months of consultations, we welcome the strong and determined action of the government, particularly in the face of a concerted campaign by industry and profit-oriented hospitals to prevent any form of effective price control,” said Malini Aisola of the All India Drug Action Network.
The Medical Technology Association of India expressed disappointment with the decision saying the “move will reduce the options available for the Indian patient for their specific medical condition or deprive them the satisfaction of choosing from the most advanced and cutting edge technologies.” The Association asked for a 45-day transition time for implementing the price change.