Max Healthcare and Lilavati Hospital today denied overcharging patients for stents and insisted they were complying with NPPA guidelines on pricing of the medical device. “We have not overcharged even a single patient for stent. We have complied fully and immediately with the NPPA order on stent pricing,” a Max Healthcare official said in response to queries by PTI. The company’s healthcare facility at Saket in South Delhi is among the hospitals which have been issued show cause notices by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) after preliminary investigations over stents pricing.
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“We are positive that we will be able to demonstrate our compliance to NPPA order on the ceiling price of coronary stent,” the official added.
Similarly, Lilavati Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Sitaram Gawde said: “We are not overcharging. We are following the government guidelines on pricing. We are yet to receive any communication from the NPPA.”
The NPPA had earlier said it had issued show cause notices to some hospitals over pricing of stents.
“After preliminary investigations, show cause notices issued to Max, Saket, New Delhi and Nidaan Multispeciality Hospital, Sonepat, Haryana,” NPPA had said in a tweet.
The regulator had also said it was investigating overpricing complaints against hospitals, including Lilavati Hospital (Mumbai), Max Saket (New Delhi), Metro Hospital (Faridabad), PGI Chandigarh, Ram Murti Hospital (Bareilly), and has alerted the concerned State Drug Controllers.
Comments from the other hospitals could not be immediately obtained.
NPPA had yesterday warned hospitals, stent manufacturers and importers of legal action in case they are found spreading “misinformation” about shortage of stents in the wake of price cap.
It had earlier said in a memorandum that as trade margin of 8 per cent is included in the ceiling price of stents, no additional charge except local sales taxes and VAT can be demanded from patients.
The 8 per cent margin also adequately covers hospital handling charges, if any, the regulator had said.
In a major relief to patients, the NPPA last week slashed prices of coronary stents by up to 85 per cent, capping them at Rs 7,260 for bare metal ones and Rs 29,600 for the drug eluting variety.