Govt Warns of Strict Ac­tion Over ‘Ar­ti­fi­cial Short­age’ of Coro­nary Stents

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

New Delhi: The gov­ern­ment has reached out to drug and hos­pi­tal reg­u­la­tors as well as pric­ing of­fi­cials to en­sure avail­abil­ity of coro­nary stents af­ter the coun­try’s drug pric­ing reg­u­la­tor slashed their prices by up to 85%.

There have been re­ports of “ar­ti­fi­cial” short­age of stents since Na­tional Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Pric­ing Author­ity (NPPA) capped prices of these life-sav­ing de­vices this week, the min­istry of chem­i­cals and fer­tili- sers said in a letter to the health min­istry, drug reg­u­la­tor and NPPA on Thurs­day. Min­istry of­fi­cials told ET that those en­gaged in such prac­tices will face dire con­se­quences.

The min­istry’s depart­ment of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals wrote to the health min­istry sec­re­tary CK Mishra, Drug Cont- roller Gen­eral of In­dia GN Singh and NPPA chair­man Bhu­pen­dra Singh to rem­edy any in­stances of stent short­ages fol­low­ing NPPA’s price caps. “There are some re­ports re­gard­ing short­age of coro­nary stents in the mar­kets/hospi­tals,” it said. ET re­viewed a copy of the letter.

A coro­nary stent is a wire mesh tube used to un­clog block­ages in coro­nary ar­ter­ies and pre­vent heart at­tacks. NPPA on Tues­day capped the prices of drug-elut­ing stents and biore­sorbable vas­cu­lar scaf­folds at .₹ 31,080 and bare-metal stents at .₹ 7,623, in­clud­ing VAT.

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