An year after it announced a price cap on coronary stents, the Centre revised the prices of stents today. Drug eluting stents (DES) are now priced at Rs 27,890 (excluding GST) and bare metal stents (BMS) have been hiked to 7,660 (excluding GST). The decision was taken by National Pharma Pricing Authority after it held a meeting with medical device manufacturers. The ceiling prices include a trade margin of 8 per cent, the NPPA said.
Last February, the ceiling price of bare metal stents had been fixed at Rs 7,260, and that of drug-eluting stents and biodegradable stents at Rs 29,600. According to NPPA, the use of bare metal stents had gone down by 30 per cent and was replaced by the drug eluting stents instead.
While the move brought down prices of stents by almost 85 per cent and was largely supported by domestic manufacturers, international stent manufacturers had opposed the decision stating that it hurts "innovation".
At a meeting held with the NPPA earlier this month on revision of prices, the Medical Technology Association of India, an association of global manufacturers, had recommended creating "sub-categories" for stents to ensure "technological innovation". However, in an order released today, the NPPA said that based on the recommendations of the expert committee of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there was "no case for sub-classification" of drug eluting stents.
The NPPA said that there was "lack" of enough clinical evidence to support superiority of one drug-eluting stent over the other.
The order passed today would be applicable until March 31, 2019, the NPPA has said.