Pharma regulator issues notices to hospitals for overpricing stents

SansadTV Bureau

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) issues show cause notices 9 Hospitals for overcharging on stents.  In a notice, It has asked that non-compliance with its instructions on stent prices may lead to prosecution.

“Total 24 complaints of overcharging on stents, nine hospitals issued show cause notices, copy of bills awaited in other cases,” the NPPA said in a tweet.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda coming out after Cabinet meeting Photo-PTI

Union Health Minister JP Nadda coming out after Cabinet meeting

This move comes a weeks after NPPA gave a major relief to lakhs of cardiac patients by slashing prices of life-saving coronary stents by up to 85 percent. It has put a cap at Rs 7,260 for bare metal ones and Rs 29,600 for drug-eluting variety.

It said in overcharging cases, the name of the concerned stent companies can be ascertained only after receiving replies from hospitals.

The regulator said hospitals, nursing homes and clinics utilising stents shall specifically and separately mention the cost of the stent along with its brand, name of the manufacturer, importer, batch number and other details in their billing.

The hospitals against which complaints have been received include Max Hospital in Saket, New Delhi, Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, Metro Hospital in Faridabad, PGI Hospital Chandigarh and Bharat Heart Institute in Dehradun, among others.

NPPA has been monitoring the situation ever since it announced price cap on stents on February 14. It has asked manufacturers, importers, distributors and hospitals to ensure availability at the revised prices.

So far in the complaints received, it has been observed from the bill copies that “hospitals are not complying” with instructions specified in its price cap order, it said.

“This serious non-compliance of government orders,” the NPPA said, adding “non-compliance of these instructions shall now be treated as deliberated distortion of evidence along with charges of overpricing. Such cases may also be taken up prosecution under EC Act”.

The Pharmaceutical Pricing Regulator has called in a meet of all stent manufacturers on March 7th to discuss issues like pricing and availability of the medical device.