Govt will ensure availability of all stent brands: NPPA chairman

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 25, 2017

Mumbai: Two months after the Indian government capped the prices of coronary stents at Rs 29,600, U.S. manufacturer Abbott has filed an application with the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to withdraw two of its premium stents from the Indian market stating "commercial unsustainability".

Earlier, Medtronic said it has made a decision to withdraw its latest stents from India following drug price regulator NPPA's move to cap their prices.

The cost of a drug eluting stent now ranges between Rs 24,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh and that of a bioresorbable stent is Rs 1.7 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. These are Alpine drug eluting stent and Absorb dissolving stent.

India's drug pricing regulator, reduced the price of cardiac stents by nearly 75 percent, the government now has prohibited stent-makers from withdrawing their products from the market for the next six months.

Last year, Indian NPPA imposed price restrictions which set limits on the costs of metal, drug eluting and bioresorbable stents.

"There is, however, a provision under the DPCO (Drug Price Control Order) rules for companies to withdraw their product". Although the authority had, inFebruary, capped the prices of coronary stents, section 11B of the Drug Price Control Act, allows companies to seek special category status.

As per the Ministry, NPPA issue came in after few companies dealing with coronary stents rolled out freebies by announcing schemes like "buy 10 and get three free." .

Only small proportions of patients in India typically opt for these latest-generation stents that the companies want to withdraw but these stents have a niche market and are particularly useful when doctors encounter hard lesions, three cardiologists today said. Presently, only a very small percentage of patients in India receive Alpine and Absorb.

Some are anxious the withdrawal may only be the beginning of a trend under which companies will keep new coronary stents out of India. "The latest stents are easier for use in patients with complications such as patients with thin arteries, or patients with tortuous calcified arteries, or patients with heart failure".

An Abbott spokesperson said that following the NPPA's price ceiling decision, it "examined and re-examined" whether there is a sustainable way to make available two of the latest stent technologies in India.

India's market for coronary stents has grown from about 145,000 stent insertions in 2010 to over 350,000 in 2015. Sections of the medical device industry had said hospitals have not been passing the benefits of lower costs to patients. While Abbott and Medtronics approached the NPPA in April, Boston Scientific approached the authority in March but the request is under review, confirmed NPPA chairman Bhupendra Singh.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE