‘Capitated Pricing' could become a norm

Lack of transparency in pricing of imported stents and other medical devices could be a thing of the past as efforts are on to regulate their pricing.

While nobody wishes to hazard a guess on the timeline, many point out the Central Government has been considering ways and means to regulate manufacturing and marketing of these costly medical devices.

Officials from the Drug Control Administration (DCA) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) have said that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is collecting data on stents and other medical devices from all States to chalk out a strategy to regulate pricing.

Senior cardiologists and former distributors of imported medical devices in Hyderabad point out that the concept of ‘Capitated Pricing' mechanism, being implemented in United States and a few European countries, could become a norm in India.

“In such a scheme, there is a ‘cap' on the cost of the stents based on their quality. For instance, for Rs. 60,000, the hospital should provide patients with drug eluting stents from all brands including imported and domestic. This will make sure that the patient will have all options and there will be parity,” experts explain.

Officials here pointed out that that the Central Government based on the recommendations and findings of NPPA, will come out with a schedule to regulate medical devices prices.

“Already the feedback on this issue from various States including Andhra Pradesh has been collected by NPPA,” authorities said.

In addition to imported stents, prices of even catheters, IV cannulae, orthopaedic implants, intro-ocular lens, pacemakers, bone cements and other such devices are likely to be regulated.