NPPA warns stent makers, importers against shortage
Drug pricing regulator NPPA has asked stent makers and importers to ensure that production as well as supply of stents remains at the level that was there before the introduction of price cap.
Warning of action in case of shortage, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said all manufacturers and importers were under "legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of coronary stents of all brands which were available in the country before price cap".
If any specific complaint is received, along with proof of withdrawal, action will be taken along with prosecution, the notification said.
Last week, the government had slashed prices of stents by up to 85 per cent by capping them at Rs 7,260 for bare metal ones and Rs 29,600 for the drug eluting variety.
"Companies have already informed the government that they are continuing with the same level of supplies. If there is any non-availability or withdrawal of stents it should inform NPPA immediately," it added.
"In order to ensure and prove price compliance, all manufacturers, importers were supposed to have issued revised price lists...by now and sent the same to all distributors and hospitals, with copies to state drug controllers and NPPA," the regulator said.
One hospital in the Capital had not put up the revised price list citing non-receipt of the latest prices from company.
NPPA also asked "all hospitals which are billing to the patients must display the revised price list of the cardiac stents on a conspicuous past of the premises of the hospitals in such a manner so as to be easily accessible to public..."
The regulator further said that state drug controllers have been sensitised on this issue and would be inspecting more hospitals in the coming days to check the compliance with its price cap order issued last week.
Stating that it has received complaints about few hospitals refusing to make 'best stents' available on the grounds that companies told them to 'hold' these stents, NPPA said it was a clear violation of DPCO 2013.
Clarifying that for the implementation of a price cap, the effective date is the date of billing and not the date of angioplasty.