25 August 2008
New Delhi, India
By Sushmi Dey
Govt Asks NPPA To Collect Data On Price Of Medical Devices
Sweet PillsDIAGNOSIS and treatment of diseases may soon become less expensive. In a move to bring expensive medical devices such as stents, catheters, orthopaedic implants and heart valves under the price negotiation, the government has asked the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to collect data on price, supply and availability of medical devices in the country. The government is understood to have told the price regulator to examine pricing of medical devices in the country visa–vis other countries having similar purchasing power.
It is learnt that the government is in the process of framing guidelines for compulsory price negotiation with companies for their new products–both patented medicines as well as medical devices–at the time of giving marketing approvals. The data gathered by NPPA would provide the government with a reference basket to negotiate prices of medical devices accordingly. The move would ensure that medical device makers price their brands reasonably as they will have to negotiate prices of their products with the government. The idea is to ascertain that consumers benefit with medical devices available at lesser price.
NPPA has also recommended to the government that there should be differential pricing for medical devices used in the treatment of cardiac ailments in government hospitals so that less affluent people could also afford treatment. The move is significant as the cost of sophisticated medical devices add substantially to the already spiralling medical bills. Some surgical procedures are unaffordable to many patients due to the inflated cost of catheters and other devices. Some stents, particularly drug eluting ones, are priced at around Rs 1 lakh.