NPPA to stent makers: It's legal obligation to maintain supply
Taking a tough stand against pharmaceutical giants for creating 'artificial shortage' of coronary stents following the capping of stent's prices, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked hospitals, doctors and patients to immediately report about shortage.
According to experts, the NPPA order is aimed at maintaining availability of stents for common masses at affordable prices as the apex drug regulator in its order has clearly mentioned that maintaining smooth supply of coronary stents of all brands, which were available in the country before price capping, is the legal obligation of all manufactures/importers.
Notably, the order has come after pharmaceutical giants such as Abbott, Medtronic and Boston Scientific, had threatened to withdraw their stents from India following the price capping announcement. All the companies manufacturing coronary stents in India have also been directed to maintain supply of the life saving medical device, the NPPA order stated.
In its office memorandum, the national drug price regulator has urged people to report back shortage of Medtronic's Resolute Onyx Zotarolimus eluting coronary stent system, Abbott's absorb GTI-bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS) and Xience Alpine medical device, and Boston Scientifics' SYNERGY monorail everolimus-eluting platinum chromium coronary stent system and promus PREMIER Everolimus- eluting coronary stent system.
The NPPA has asked all stakeholders to report about the shortage of stents by calling regulator's toll free helpline number 1800111255, lodging a complaint through grievance redressal system Pharma Jan Samadhan and messaging the complaint through WhatsApp on 9958217773.
After the receipt of the complaint, the NPPA would initiate action on priority basis to ensure the availability of stents at places where the shortage was reported.
The NPPA has also asked state drug controllers to carryout checks to ensure the availability of stents and submit the status report regularly. The memorandum has come to make multinational companies fall in line after they had applied to withdraw their latest generation coronary stents from India market with Abbott leading the campaign in April.