Mumbai, March 31: In a major relief for the cardiac patients Maharashtra government directed that medical devices such as stents and catheters must be sold at the maximum retail price (MRP). Cardiac patients who are charged 300% to 400% the cost of stents will now be able to buy stents at MRP.State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Girish Bapat said since January 2017, the government has been using provisions of the Legal Metrology Act to crack down on such hospitals. “Stents that used to cost Rs 1.50 lakh will now be sold at Rs7,255. Imported stents will not cost Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.50 lakh, they will be available for Rs 29,000,” he said.
The state government identified eight major hospitals in Mumbai that hike the prices of medical devices. Bapat also said that the state had filed cases against them under the Consumer Protection Act after they found that these hospitals sold stents at three to four times the import rate. “We took action against eight hospitals, which had been charging patients Rs1 lakh to Rs1.90 lakh for a stent, though they bought these from importers for Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000,” he said.
Minister Bapat warned hospitals and stent suppliers that a non-bailable warrant would be issued against them if they were caught overcharging. “Stents, catheters and 18 other medical devices are included in the Packaged Commodity Act and must be sold at MRP,” said Bapat.