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Hospitals not mentioning stent details in bill to face the music: Centre

Cracking the whip against errant hospitals, the government has directed hospitals to issue detailed bills to patients specifying the cost of the coronary stents. According to the notification issued by National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA), the hospitals have also been told to mention the brand name of the manufacturer and importer, batch number and other details.

"The non-compliance thereof will be treated as a deliberate distortion of evidence along with charges of overpricing inviting prosecution under the Essential Commodities Act," said Mansukh L Mandaviya, the Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. "The government is committed to making available stents at affordable prices and hospitals have to fall in line else stern actions would be initiated against whom complaints of overcharging have been received," a senior official said.

In the recent past, the NPPA has received several complaints about overcharging of coronary stents against noted hospitals such as Lilawati Hospital (Mumbai), Max Hospital, Saket (New Delhi), Metro Hospital (Faridabad), PGI Hospital (Chandigarh), BLK Super Speciality Hospital (New Delhi), etc.

On the artificial scarcity, the minister said, "The government, through NPPA, is closely monitoring the situation and has alerted the state governments and state drugs controllers to monitor the availability of stents." "The Industry has also been told that all manufacturers, as well as importers, are under legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of coronary stents of all brands which were available in the country before price cap," he added.
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