The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) warned stent manufacturers, importers and retailers of creating any artificial shortage of stents or cardiac services after the drug price regulator imposed pricing caps on all stents bringing down their price substantially on Tuesday.
The regulator said it is monitoring the status after receiving a veiled threat by stent manufacturers over supply disruptions in the market.
NPPA said the government under Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013 can direct any manufacturer to maintain, import or increase supplies of cardiac stents in public interest, and a designated officer of government of both state and Central can enter, search and seize stocks of stents anywhere in the trade channel if they are found to be hoarding them.
“All state governments equipped with laws to declare any service as 'essential' in public interest, including cardiac care,” NPPA said in its latest tweet.
NPPA on Tuesday capped the prices of bare metal stent at Rs 7260 and drug eluting stent (DES) and biodegradable stents at Rs 29,600. Both the prices are exclusive of value-added tax. DES constitutes 95 percent of the market .
Read more at: Stents to get cheaper by as much as 85 percent as drug body caps price
The price regulator ruled out any possibility of giving more time for the manufacturers to comply with its notification and said price capping of essential drugs will come into immediate effect, adding that inconvenience in implementation cannot outweigh public interest.
Read more at: NPPA justifies stent price cap, says cos can still make a profit
The sudden implementation has clearly upset the industry, which sought 45 days as per the provision of DPCO to comply with the order.
Medical Technology Association of India (MTAI) in a statement said this exercise is happening for the first-time for coronary stents and all the members of the supply chain and the entire exercise needs to be conducted keeping patient safety and critical medical needs of patients in mind.
"Sudden implementation of this order will result in an overall disruption in the market and supply chain, leading to non-availability and chaos for patients in need,” it added.