Drug eluting stents or the stents coated with a drug, constitutes 95 percent of the market
The prices of cardiac stents is set to rise as the government has allowed stent makers to raise prices by eight percent year-on-year.
In a March 31 notification, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) raised the ceiling price of the most commonly used drug eluting stent (DES) to Rs 30,080 from Rs 27,890. It also hiked price of bare metal stents to Rs 8,261 from Rs 7,660.
Drug eluting stents or the stents coated with a drug, constitutes 95 percent of the market. Both prices exclude Goods & Services Tax (GST), which is charged at five percent.
Abbott India, Sahajanand Medical Technologies (SMT) and Translumina Therapeutics are leading players in this segment.
In addition, the government has allowed manufacturers selling stents lower than the revised ceiling price to raise the maximum retail price (MRP) on the basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) at 4.2662 percent for 2018.
A stent is a tiny expandable metal scaffold to open up narrowed or weakened arteries to ensure blood flow, thus preventing heart attacks.
The price revision became imminent after the last year’s price cap order lapsed on March 31.First hike in two yearsThis is the first time the government raised prices of stents, after it capped prices in February 2017 by as much as 85 percent to check unethical profiteering and exploitive pricing and to ensure fair, reasonable and affordable price for coronary stents.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) found out that the trade margin enjoyed by distributors for sale to hospitals ranged between 13 percent and 196 percent. The margin earned by hospitals was as high as 11 percent to 650 percent. It also imposed an eight percent trade margin cap that would cover margins across the trade channels, working from the level of manufacturers to the end-user, even covering hospital-handling charges.
The government based its decision on a sub-committee report that recommended putting all types of stents, including the latest biodegradable stents, onto the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) list in April 2016. Medicines and devices listed in the NLEM must be sold at a price fixed by NPPA.
According to a sub-committee report, around 25 percent of deaths in India are attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common CVD, accounting for 90-95 percent of all CVD cases and deaths.In India, only about three out of 1,000 coronary heart disease needy patients are treated with angioplasty compared to 32 in the US. It is estimated that a total of six lakh stents are implanted in India.