Under Para 30 of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013, the government has made it compulsory for all hospitals to provide the exact price they charge for coronary stents in their bills in order to check artificial shortage of stents being created by hospitals across the country with vested interests.
Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Mansukh L. Mandaviya, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, said that the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA), under his ministry has directed hospitals to issue detailed bills to the patients, specifically and separately mentioning the cost of the Coronary Stents, along with the brand name of the manufacturer and importer, batch number and other details.
Mandaviya informed that non-compliance will be treated as deliberate distortion of evidence besides charges of overpricing inviting prosecution under the Essential Commodities Act. The Minister said that the Government, through NPPA, is closely monitoring the situation and has alerted the State Governments and State Drugs Controllers to monitor the availability of stents.
Industry outlets have been informed that all manufactures and importers are under legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of coronary stents of all brands which were available in the country before price cap, he said.
All State Governments and State Drug Controllers have been advised to exercise the power of entry, search and seizure as per Para 30 of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 which stipulates that if manufacturers, importers or distributors try to create artificial shortage of stents, they come under radar. Already the government has had two rounds of discussions with the Stent companies, which have promised availability of stents.
Further, the ministers said that aggrieved persons may send verifiable information and complaints regarding this on NPPA Help Line No. 1800111255 or through online complaint mechanism Pharma Jan Samadhan.
NPPA notified the ceiling price of Coronary Stents on 13th February 2017 at Rs.7,260 for Bare Metal Stent (BMS) and Rs.29,600 for Drug Eluting Stents (DES) including metallic DES and Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS)/ Biodegradable Stents.
The average MRP before this notification was Rs.45,100 for BMS and Rs.1,21,400 for DES. Price regulation has brought down the prices of stents of BMS by 74% and of DES by 85% now.