Regulations to focus on making healthcare more affordable for all sects of society: Anantkumar

Bengaluru:Pursuing Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi’s vision of Affordable, Quality Healthcare for All, we have issued the notification for fixing the ceiling prices of coronary stents, informed Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananthkumar here today. The step would bring down the cost of coronary stents by about 85%, the Minister added.

Shri Ananthkumar informed that the ceiling prices of BareMetal Stents (BMS), having 10% market share, has been capped at Rs. 7,260 andDrug Eluting stents (DES), having 90% market share, at Rs. 29,600. These pricesare exclusive of VAT and other local taxes. The Minister further stated thatsince most of the States have 5% VAT on stents, the MRP of BMS and DES would beRs.7623 and Rs. 31,080.  National PharmaceuticalPricing Authority (NPPA) which is coming under Minister for Chemicals &Fertilizers has fixed the prices within 60 days as required, he added.

Informing that the step is a major decisive action ontheunethical margins charged at each stage in the supply chain of coronarystents, the Minister stated that the new prices are not likely to make muchadverse impact on industry.  The averageMRP in the market for BMS was Rs. 45,000 and for DES Rs. 1,21,000.  This has been reduced to Rs. 7623 for BMS andRs. 31,080 for DES. Thus, based on price reduction, patients will get averagebenefit of 80-90 thousand per stent resulting into a gross relief of Rs. 4450crores in one year.

"To protect the interest of public, very strict lawswill govern the effectiveness of this initiative. Violations or Deviations bymanufacturers and Hospitals from the defined norm will attract cancellation ofrespective Licenses and will be subject to criminal charge. The excess costcharged will have to be returned to the buyer at an interest rate of 15%.  Also the manufacturers should continuemanufacturing at the large volumes they have been in the last three years,there must not be a reduced manufacturing of stents as an aftermath of thisregulation instigated by the Government." said Minister Ananthkumar.

“As a part of Modi Government’s focus on deliveringaffordable healthcare, our focus has been to gradually bring changes toHealthcare Ecosystem in the country to meet all basic needs, we have revisedthe List of essential drugs to ensure it is meaningful & effective and wehave capped prices of 1450 medicines in the list through legally availablemeans.  From 99 Jan Oushadhikendras (inMay 2014) we are at 777 Jan Oushadhikendras today,with more Kendras to be addedgoing ahead.” He added.

Shri Kumar informed that the Ministry of Health and FamilyWelfare included Coronary Stents in the National List of Essential Medicines,2015 (NLEM, 2015) on 19th July 2016 and the Ministry of Chemicals andFertilizers incorporated Coronary Stents in Schedule I of the Drug PricesControl Order (DPCO), 2013 on 21st December 2016.

Shri Kumar stated that the Ministry, afterreviewing the recommendation of Ministry of Health had directed the NPPA tohold multi-stakeholder consultations with industry and industry associations,manufacturers, importers, hospital associations, distributors’ associations,doctors and NGOs and other civil society members for fixing the ceiling pricesof coronary stents. All the data provided by industry was put on NPPA websiteand major options for price fixation and prices put in public domain for consultation.  The new ceiling prices decided by theGovernment have taken into account interests of all the stakeholders. 

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) are major cause of death inIndia, about 25% of total deaths.  Out ofthese, 90-95% CVD deaths happen due to coronary artery diseases. As per thereport of National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, prevalence of CADin India is about 61.5 million as per 2015 report. As per Health Ministryreport, more than 3.5 lakh procedures were done in 2015 which used 4.73 lakhstents.  In 2016, the figure of cardiacstent must have been above 5 lakhs.

The Minister further stated that the new ceiling prices willpromote ‘Make in India’ in a big way and seeing the huge number of patients andfuture requirement, foreign companies will also try to make in India forcutting costs and remain competitive. Presently market size of India made stents is roughly 30%. Shri Kumarassured that he will write to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to keepa check on increase the price of procedure, doctor’s fee and prolong thepatients’ stay by hospitalsto make up for losses it and also ensure that price reduction is passed on topatients. 

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