Opting to stay pocket- and patient-friendly, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Monday announced new stent prices, capping trade margin at 8% and requiring price of catheters, etc. to be mentioned separately during billing.
The price of drug-eluting stent (DES) was announced as ₹27,890 ex GST and bare metal stent (BMS) as ₹7,660 ex GST. The order will be valid till March 13 next year.
The current price of DES stands at ₹30,180 and BMS at ₹7,400.
The revised price caps will be effective from Tuesday.
The NPPA maintained that the price fixation was necessary “under the failed and exploitive market system characterised by exorbitant, irrational and restrictive trade margin.” The revised rates come as the validity of capping prices of coronary stents ends on February 13.
“Use of BMS is reduced by 30% and replaced by DES. Affordability matters,” NPPA chairman Bhupendra Singh stated in a tweet on February 7. He had maintained that any effort to introduce sub-categories won’t be beneficial for patients. DES has a polymer coating which gradually releases a drug to ensure that blockage doesn’t recur.
Meanwhile, the government has also invited comments to check the prices of guide wire, balloon catheters and guiding catheters, which are being sold at 15-400% margins.