Published On : 2017-02-16
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), in a widely anticipated move, has capped the prices of coronary stents in India. According to new guidelines, bare metalstents will not be sold at a price not exceeding Rs 7,260. The price of drug-eluting stents, which are used in 90% of angioplasties, has been fixed at Rs 29,600. The announcement has been received positively by public health groups; however, the exact impact it will have on the bottom-line of vendors will need thorough assessment and analysis.
Future Market Insights, in its previous research on the India coronary stents market, had projected that government intervention on the capping of the price of coronary stents was on the cards. Public health groups have been complaining to the government about the exorbitant prices of coronary stents. Currently, drug eluting coronary stents are priced in the range of Rs 24,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. From the time a coronary stent is manufactured to the time it reaches the patient, hefty markups are added, with the final cost being charged to the consumer. The entire cost of the transaction is eventually passed on to the consumer, which results in high price of these medical devices.
Analysts are of the opinion that the move was triggered by mounting concerns about the unethical practices reported from hospitals and catherisation labs. There were reports that cardiologists and hospitals were overcharging patients, and receiving a hefty cut from the sales of coronary stents. Public health groups, while hailing the move, claimed that government’s decision was bold considering the efforts of the profit-oriented hospitals to stall the notification on price-capping. However, some prominent public health welfare are also of the opinion that price-capping is just the tip of the iceberg, and it will take concerted effort on government’s part to regulate the overall healthcare sector.
According to an earlier report by Future Market Insights, the global coronary stents market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% through 2026. In contrast, the India coronary stent market, valued at US$ 531 Mn in 2016, is projected to increase at 14% CAGR through 2026. However, during the compilation of Future Market Insights’ report, there were expectations that the Indian government will interfere in the pricing and marketing guidelines. As the news of the new notification by NPPA went public, the healthcare team at Future Market Insights is assessing the impact it will have on the overall growth of the market.
The medical device industry has opposed the NPPA notification, claiming it will kill innovation and slow down development of advanced stents. The Association of Indian Medical Device Industryalso criticised the move, saying that the notification will rob local device manufacturers of opportunities. Another point of disagreement between the government and device manufacturers is the transition time to implement the move. While the NPPA notification makes the new prices effective from Tuesday, 14th Feb, 2017, manufacturers are asking for a 45-day relabeling period. It is in accordance with the Drug Price Control Order 2013, which makes a provision of 45 days to be given to stakeholders to change over to new notified prices.