NPPA warns makers for creating stent shortage; seeks hospitals’ billing data to see benefits are passed on to patients

After the government slashed coronary stent prices drastically earlier this week, there have been reports of several hospitals shifting charges on other services to compensate the lower prices.

To deter such hospitals and clinics, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked billing data from insurance regulator (IRDAI) and insurance providers.

After receiving bills, the national drug price authority will analyse data to see if there is any violation.

NPPA has also warned manufacturers against creating any aritificial shortage of stents in the market.

It asked state drug controllers to launch hunt to tame violators, with their search and seizure powers provided under Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013, to ensure there is no shortage in the market.

The drug regulator also asked the department of pharmaceuticals to ensure that there is availability of coronary stents in the market. It also asked the government to invoke Para 3 of the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) to direct manufacturers and importers to maintain production, import and supplies of stents at the pre-price cap level.

A stent is a tiny tube-shaped device placed in narrowed or blocked coronary arteries to maintain blood supply.

NPPA, on February 13, capped prices of bare metal stents at Rs 7,260 per unit and those of drug-eluting stents and biodegradable stents at Rs 29,600 per unit in a bid to provide affordable treatment to patients.

Source: Media Reports

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