A plea for fixing price of stents, used to treat narrowed or weakened arteries in the body, has been moved in the Delhi High Court, contending that the rate of the medical device has not been fixed despite it being included in the national essential list of medicines NLEM). The matter was listed for hearing before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva who transferred it to the bench dealing with PILs as the petition has issues pertaining to general public interest.
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As per the public interest litigation (PIL), moved by a lawyer, despite a July 19, 2016 notification by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare deciding to include coronary stents in the NLEM 2015, its price has not yet been fixed.
The petitioner, Birender Sangwan, has claimed that the government and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) are being “insensitive and irresponsible” towards the people by not taking any steps to fix the price of the medical device which is allegedly being sold at expensive rates in the country.
He has claimed that people in all age groups in the country suffer from heart ailments requiring use of stents and not all of them can afford this treatment.
He has sought a direction to the NPPA “to control the rate and decide a particular maximum retail price (MRP) of the coronary stents”.
The petition also seeks a direction to the Drug Controller General of India “for providing prompt availability of the coronary stents at medical stores to enable patients to have a quick access to it”.
Sangwan, represented by advocate Joginder Sukhija, has also said that it should be made mandatory to mention the MRP of the stents on the boxes containing these and to impose heavy penalty for not doing so.