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The inclusion of coronary stents in the National List of

Essential Medicines (NLEM) had prompted the current efforts by the NPPA towards price fixation.

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Essential Medicines (NLEM) had prompted the current efforts by the NPPA towards price fixation. In another petition, the government has been directed to make a report to the Court after the ceiling prices have been notified.

Even as the NPPA is examining different formulas to fix an affordable price for stents, industry lobbying allegedly to thwart these efforts appears to have increased in recent weeks, the groups said.

"There is a clear obligation under the Constitution for the government to fulfill the fundamental right to health and ensure the affordability of medical devices such as stents," said Advocate Birender Sangwan, who filed the two petitions.

Malini Aisola of AIDAN said, "The reports indicate that companies and industry associations are lobbying intensely for a ceiling price based on a simple average of hospital prices which will ensure that the profiteering continues unabated and hospitals can take huge cuts on the stents." "There is an urgent need to fix the price at an affordable price that does not expose people to the exploitation of hospitals and stent manufacturers," she said.

They alleged that there are also attempts, primarily by foreign companies and cardiologists acting on their behalf, to exclude from price control the highest priced stents, which also happen to dominate the market.

"The industry is making unsubstantiated claims of superiority of the newer model stents such as bioreabsorbable stents. This is a ploy, in conspiracy with the hospitals, to charge ungodly sums of money for minor changes to existing products in order to exploit patients," Dinesh Abrol from the National Working Group on Patent Laws said.

The NPPA data also shows that the "largest cut" goes to the hospital, which can be as high as 650 per cent, more than the price at which the hospital purchases the stents from the distributor, they claimed.

"While the government fixes the prices of stents, it must also take urgent action to investigate and haul up the medical establishment for corrupt practices and overcharging," said Arun Mitra of the Alliance Of Doctors For Ethical Healthcare.

 

(This article has not been edited by DNA's editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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