In what may come as a huge relief to scores of heart patients, the government capped the prices of life saving coronary stents drastically. As per the new government directive, the prices of the stents have been slashed by 85 percent. The bare metal stents (BMS) would cost Rs 7,260 while the drug eluting stents (DES) would come at a price tag of Rs 31,080.
The new prices announced by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) will come into force with immediate effect. Earlier the BMS variety was priced at Rs 45,000 while the patients had to shell out a whopping 1.21 lakh for the DES.
Stents manufacturers have an unbelievably high margin which has the potency to result in many mal-practices.
“We want to stop the menace of over-pricing of coronary stents in various hospitals,” Chemical and Fertilizer Minister, Ananth Kumar said while announcing the government’s decision.
The manufacturers will have to scale down the prices of the stents that are already in the market.
Meanwhile the health ministry has been advised to put checks and balances in place to thwart any unethical practices that the hospitals might resort to in wake of the decision. The ministry has been specifically asked to monitor that the hospitals should not charge more for the procedure or post-care as a means to recoup their profits.