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