New Delhi, March 15: The National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) has directed hospitals to issue detailed bills to the patients, specifically and separately mentioning the cost of the coronary stents, along with the brand name of the manufacturer and importer, batch number and other details.
Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh L. Mandaviya, announced this in Lok Sabha during the discussion on stent issues. Mandaviya informed that non-compliance thereof will be treated as deliberate distortion of evidence along with charges of overpricing inviting prosecution under the Essential Commodities Act. The Minister also said that the government, through NPPA, is closely monitoring the situation and has alerted the State Governments and State Drugs Controllers to monitor the availability of stents. Industry has also been informed that all manufactures and importers are under legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of coronary stents of all brands which were available in the country before price cap, he added.
All State Governments and State Drug Controllers have been advised to exercise the power of entry, search and seizure as per Para 30 of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 if manufacturers, importers or distributors try to create artificial shortage of stents. Government has had two rounds of discussions with the Stent companies, which in turn have promised required level of availability.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had notified the ceiling price of coronary stents at Rs 7,260 for bare metal stent and Rs 29,600 for drug-eluting ones. The corresponding average MRPs before the notification stood at Rs 45,100 and Rs 1.21 lakh. "Price regulation has brought down the prices of bare metal stent by 74 per cent and that drug-eluting stents by 85 per cent," the minister said.
He also informed that aggrieved persons may send verifiable information and complaints regarding this on NPPA Help Line No. 1800111255 or through online complaint mechanism Pharma Jan Samadhan.