The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has initiated an investigation against the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) for allegedly overpricing patients in the sale of stents. The PGI, however, has denied the allegations. “NPPA investigating overpricing complaints from following hospitals:Lilavati,Mumbai; Max Saket,N.D; Metro Hospital Faridabad, Palwal; PGI Chandigarh; Ram Murti Hospital Bareilly, UP; concerned State Drug Controllers alerted,” said the NPPA on its official twitter handle.
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Recently, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority in its notification put a fixed price on the sale of stents for the cardiac patients. The NPPA capped the price of a drug-eluting stent at Rs 29,600, while bare metal stents would cost Rs 7,260. The decision is expected to bring a relief to lakhs of patients as earlier the stents were being sold at higher prices.
Reacting to the report, PGI spokeswoman Manju Wadwalkar denied the NPPA allegation, saying that the hospital “was selling the stents at government of India prices.” “We have not received any information regarding the probe [of NPPA]. Stents are available at Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlets inside the institute, which are selling on government of India prices,” she said.
Dr Rakesh Kashyap, director of health services (DHS), who also heads the state drug authority said that they have not received any communication from the NPPA. “If there is a case of overcharging, we will write to the PGIMER director about the issue,” he said.
A senior PGIMER official told Chandigarh Newsline that the institute has not received any complaint from any patient about overcharging. “There is already a system in place about the availability of stents and only AMRIT outlets are selling the stents. The recent decision of NPPA is being implemented at the institute,” said the official, adding that the metal stents will be made available at the institute from Friday evening.
Sources in the department of cardiology also said that the department would internally investigate the issue and that no complaint was received from the patients about the overpricing.
On Friday evening, the NPPA also said that complaints of overcharging on price of stents at Oxygen Hospital, Rohtak, Haryana was received by the NPPA helpline.