With an aim of providing relief to heart patients, The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Tuesday fixed prices of coronary stents. Coronary stents is a small metal mesh tubes used to open up narrowed or blocked arteries.
The maximum retail price of bare metal stents (BMS) and drug eluting stents (DES) will be Rs 7,623 and Rs 31,080, respectively, inclusive of VAT and other local taxes. Earlier, the average maximum retail price (MRP) for BMS was Rs 45,000 and for DES, it was Rs 1.21 lakh.
"We want to stop the menace of over-pricing of coronary stents in various hospitals. After careful consideration and after having inputs from various stakeholders, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has decided to fix the ceiling prices for cardiac stents," Chemical and Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar said.
The health ministry has been told to take steps to curb unethical practices by hospitals such as charging more from patients for procedure, treatment and post-care, to recover their losses due to reduction in stent prices, he added.
Big relief to lakh of heart patients, Stent prices slashed by up to 85%. pic.twitter.com/zr3hqTpDAf
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 15, 2017
"During deliberations, it was found that huge unethical markups are charged at each stage in the supply chain of coronary stents resulting in irrational, restrictive and exorbitant prices in a failed market system driven by information asymmetry between the patient and doctors pushing patients to financial misery,” NPPA said in the notification.
The new price will come into effect from 14th february 2017. The government has asked the companies to change the MRP of the existing stock.