Govt seeks comments on proposal to fix orthopaedic implant rates | health | Hindustan Times
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Govt seeks comments on proposal to fix orthopaedic implant rates

After capping cardiac stent prices last year, NPPA last week announced that it was working on fixing a price for orthopaedic implants, owing to hugely inflated profit margins that went up even by 400%.

health Updated: Aug 09, 2017 18:07 IST
After cardiac stents, govt. aims to fix the selling price of orthopaedic implants.
After cardiac stents, govt. aims to fix the selling price of orthopaedic implants.(Shutterstock)

With just two days to go for the deadline to close for comments, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which is working on capping the price for orthopaedic implants, has already been inundated with comments.

The last date for submitting comments is Friday, August 11.

After capping cardiac stent prices last year, NPPA last week announced that it was working on fixing a price for orthopaedic implants, owing to hugely inflated profit margins that went up even by 400%.

However, there is no deadline fixed for the project.

“Putting a timeline is not possible as it is a long drawn process. They have to go through a lot of minute details before they can even reach close to putting a cap on the prices. It needs to be a well thought out decision keeping in mind the requirement of stakeholders, especially patients,” said a Union health ministry official.

NPPA, last week, had released a preliminary analysis of the profit margins on implants used in knee replacement surgery, and sought comments from stakeholders before it started the process of capping the price.

“Based on available data from the official sources and manufacture/importer, NPPA has analyzed the trade margins in orthopaedic knee implants that are used for knee replacements. Stakeholders may like to communicate their comments within a week,” NPPA statement read.

The preliminary analysis showed the maximum landing price (import price) of knee replacement implants is ₹65,782, the maximum retail price at which it is sold is ₹4,13,059 that is more than six times the landing price.

The maximum landing cost of tibial plate, which is used to resurface the tibia bone in the knee, is ₹17,492, its maximum retail is almost seven times — ₹1,22,336.

The report added that hospitals and distributors make around 120% to 135% profits on various knee implants such as femoral, tibial plate, inserts and patella that the authorities aim to curb.

The industry insiders, however, are meeting NPPA officials today to point out what they find ‘discrepancies in price points quoted’.

“While working on price governance for any industry, it is imperative that right data is used to derive right outcomes. While studying the statement on trade margin in the NPPA circular, we have observed multiple discrepancies in the price points quoted,” says Medical Technology Association of India (MTAI).

“Applying existing drug trade margin rules to this industry might lead to disruption of the entire ecosystem and poorer patient outcomes. Pricing authorities should understand the nuances of this industry, surgery processes, role of each member in the value chain, and then take a decision on an appropriate pricing structure,” it says.