Facing losses, Mumbai’s stent distributors threaten to shut business after cap on prices
On February 13, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority capped the prices of Bare Metal Stent (BMS) and Drug Eluting Stent (DES) across the nation. While the move was taken keeping in mind the exploitation of patients who were forced to pay exorbitant prices, smaller distributors have said that they bearing the brunt of the price regulationmumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2017 08:44 IST
: Stent distributors have said that they will have to shut shop as they have incurred heavy losses after the cap on stent prices. They said that they have been forced to sell the stents, bought at much higher prices, at new revised prices and will close down operations if the Centre and manufacturers don’t find a viable solution.
On February 13, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority capped the prices of Bare Metal Stent (BMS) and Drug Eluting Stent (DES) across the nation. While the move was taken keeping in mind the exploitation of patients who were forced to pay exorbitant prices, smaller distributors have said that they bearing the brunt of the price regulation.
Mulund-based Swastik Surgicals, S Bilagi said 3rd and 4th generation stents he bought for Rs 60,000 -70,000 have to now be sold at Rs29,600.
“There are reports of artificial shortage being created by distributors, but smaller distributors like us have to sell at the revised prices because there is no use of storing them. Eventually even stents have a shelf life of a year and we have to at least cover some cost by selling them to hospitals,” said Bilagi.
According to the report of National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), a technical support institution under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, prices of nine companies including those of market leaders such as Abbott, Medtronic and Boston Scientific together account for nearly 60% of the market share of stents in the country. “In the case of Abbott, the difference between landed cost (LC) and price to distributor (PTD) ranges between 68% to 140% across different brands; that between PTD and MRP ranges between 72% to 400%; and finally between LC and MRP ranges between 294% to 740%,” the report read.
NPPA had found out that the trade margins for BES and DES for distributors ranged anywhere between 11%-194% and 13% to 196% respectively.
However, since NAPP’s cap on prices, the distributors are unable to add any additional cost to the products.
“The problem is that there are a number of distributors, who function under a different banner for the hospitals. Hence they can afford to stay in the business. We on the other hand, have already purchased the products on earlier costs. If we cant recover the cost, we will be left with no option but to shut shop,” said a distributor from Dadar, who is associated with 7-8 hospitals.
NPPA officials have directed the hospitals and distributors to display the prices of stents so that the patients at all levels are well informed about the prices.