Moneycontrol
Nov 13, 2017 03:03 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

NPPA to review stent price caps in February, calls for industry views

In February this year - NPPA cut coronary stent prices by as much as 85 percent and imposed price ceilings for all drug-eluting stents and bioabsorbable stents. The order on price caps were valid for a year.

Viswanath Pilla @@viswanath_pilla

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) sought views of coronary stent makers on pricing by the end of December, as the drug price regulator will revisit the prices of coronary stents in February next year.

In February this year NPPA cut coronary stent prices by as much as 85 percent and imposed price ceilings for all drug-eluting stents and bioabsorbable stents. The order on price caps were valid for a year.

“This decision needs to be revisited in the month of January - February, 2018,” NPPA said in a statement.

“NPPA has received some representations with regard to pricing and other related issues,” it added.

The NPPA decision to cap the prices of stents became controversial. The medical devices industry, especially the multinational companies, have opposed the regulation of stent prices, and warned that the decision will stifle access to innovative and advanced therapies for patients.

"I think it is not because of 'controversy' the existing order on prices was valid for a year and that is how NPPA needs to revisit and take a call," NPPA Chairman Bhupendra Singh tweeted.

About three-fifths of the market for stents is shared by multinational companies such as Abbott, Medtronics, Meril Lifesciences and Boston Scientific.

In September, US-based Abbott Laboratories said it had received permission to withdraw its premium Xience Alpine metallic stents as well as its dissolving stents. Boston Scientific is also considering withdrawing its high-end stents.

Last month US multinational companies through the industry association, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) filed a petition with the USTR seeking partial or full suspension or withdrawal of benefits provided to India under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

GSP is a preferential tariff system extended by developed countries to developing countries.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) - - Robert Lighthizer in a response wrote a letter to Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister last month raising concerns over the pricing policy of medical devices. He said the policy has created “serious problems for US companies that sell these products in the Indian market.”

The stent price cap was also discussed at the October 26 US India Trade Policy Forum in Washington DC.

Patient Advocacy Group All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) have asked the Indian government not to succumb to the pressure tactics of US and its multinational companies.
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