The national drug pricing regulator, NPPA, is working on fixing ceiling prices of stents as the government has notified it in the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013. The decision of the Department of Pharmaceuticals comes months after the Ministry of Health in July included stents in the National List of Essential Medicines. “We are on the job. We will do it as soon as possible,” National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) Chairman Bhupendra Singh told PTI.
In a notification, DoP has put “bare metal stents and drug eluting stents (DES), which include metallic DES and bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS)/biodegradable stents” in the Schedule I of DPCO 2013. NPPA is requested to take further action urgently, a letter to the chairman stated. As per DPCO 2013, “ceiling price(s) for the medicine(s)
added in the first schedule shall be fixed as per the provisions of this order within a period of 60 days from the date of the notification”.
Expressing disappointment over the government’s decision, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) said the move hinders the fundamental right of a patient to have access to advanced, clinically proven, patient condition-specific and high-quality devices.To overlook this clinical and patient-centric need through preoccupation to ‘price capping’ is short-sighted, it added. Putting all Drug Eluting Stents (DES) into one category undermines the progress made in innovative device development over the years, AdvaMed said.