India’s drug pricing regulator reworked the prices of coronary stents on Monday—bringing one up marginally and cutting another further—a year after slashing prices by as much as 85%.
The National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) brought up the price of bare metal stents (BES) to Rs7,660 from Rs7,260 and reduced the price of drug-eluting and biodegradable stents to Rs27,890 from Rs29,600.
NPPA also listed regulated prices of other essential accessories used during the stenting procedure, including cardiac guidewire, balloon catheter and guiding wire, cardiac drug eluting balloon or cutting balloon and cardiac guiding catheter.
NPPA’s original price cut imposed in February last year radically lowered the prices of stents, which are mesh tubes placed in arteries to improve blood flow. Before the cap, bare metal stents sold for Rs45,000 and drug-eluting stents for Rs1.21 lakh.
NPPA also decided against multinational stent makers’ request for a new category for advanced stents. The latest order will remain valid till 31 March 2019.
For the accessories, NPPA analysed and compared the minimum and maximum landed price and found huge trade margins between the import landed price and the MRP as well as the price to the distributors and the MRP.
Based on data from manufacturers and importers, NPPA found that in case of some accessories, the trade margin between the import landed price and MRP ranged from 177% to 405%. Between price to distributors and MRP, margins ranged from 62% to 234%. The authority has sought a response from the manufacturers by 15 March.
Last year’s price cap was valid till 13 February. Discussions started with NPPA meeting eminent cardiologists, who said the price cap has resulted in more angioplasties and fewer bypass surgeries. NPPA also met stakeholders on 5 and 8 February.