Big relief to heart patients! Govt fixes coronary stent prices, to bring down cost by about 380%

In sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of affordable, quality healthcare for all, the Government of India, on Tuesday, issued the notification for fixing the ceiling prices of coronary stents. The step would bring down the cost of coronary stents by about 380 per cent.

Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs Ananthkumar, on Tuesday, said now the ceiling prices of Bare Metal Stents (BMS), having 10 per cent market share, has been capped at Rs 7,260 and Drug Eluting stents (DES), having 90 per cent market share, at Rs 29,600. “These prices are exclusive of VAT and other local taxes,” he added.

The minister further stated that since most of the states have 5 per cent VAT on stents, the MRP of BMS and DES would be Rs 7,623 and Rs 31,080.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the prices within 60 days as required, he added.

Kumar informed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare included coronary stents in the National List of Essential Medicines, 2015 (NLEM, 2015) on 19 July 2016 and the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers incorporated coronary stents in Schedule I of the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013 on 21 December 2016.

The minister said he will write to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to keep a check on increase the price of procedure, doctor’s fee and prolong the patients’ stay by hospitals to make up for losses it and also ensure that price reduction is passed on to patients.

He also said that the prices of all stocked stents will have to be revised according to the new ceiling price.

The minister laid stress that the landed price/manufacturing cost of imported BMS is Rs 5,415 and for DES is Rs 16,918, hence the ceiling prices have been set taking into account the ethical profit margins and R&D costs of each member of the supply chain of coronary stents.

Kumar also added that in case of serious violations of the ceiling prices, the NPPA has the authority to recover the overcharged amount along with 15 per cent interest. For addressing the grievances of the common people,as per the minister, the ministry has already started two mobile apps, Pharma Jan Samadhan and Pharma Sahi Daam, on which aggrieved person can register complaints and the Ministry would act swiftly to resolve it.

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) are major cause of death in India, about one-fourth of total deaths.

Out of these, 90-95 per cent CVD deaths happen due to coronary artery diseases.

As per the report of National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, prevalence of CAD in India is about 61.5 million as per 2015 report.

A health ministry report says more than 3.5 lakh procedures were done in 2015 which used 4.73 lakh stents.

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