Ma­ha­rash­tra hos­pi­tals fleece pa­tients

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

A SIX-MONTH-LONG in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­ducted by Ma­ha­rash­tra's Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) has re­vealed that life-sav­ing coro­nary stents are sold to pa­tients at ex­or­bi­tant rates. Also, hos­pi­tals do not al­low pa­tients to choose from dif­fer­ently priced stents avail­able in the mar­ket. FDA's in­ves­ti­ga­tion has shown that im­ported stents cost­ing ` 40,000 are sold to pa­tients at ` 1.25 lakh. Stents of another com­pany cost­ing ` 25,000 are be­ing sold at ` 1.5 lakh. The huge profit is shared among im­porters, dis­trib­u­tors, hos­pi­tals and in some cases, doc­tors. Nearly 350,000 stents are sold ev­ery year in Ma­ha­rash­tra alone. If the av­er­age price of one stent is ` 1.25 lakh, then it is an in­dus­try of over ` 400 crore.

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