Hospitals make 449% profit on knee implants, prices should be capped, say Mumbai doctors
The report by the NPPA showed distributors and hospitals were making up to 449% profit on knee implants.mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2017 01:06 IST
After a report by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority’s (NPPA) highlighted how distributors and hospitals were making profits on knee implants, doctors and industry insiders said their prices should be capped, like those for stents.
The report by the NPPA showed distributors and hospitals were making up to 449% profit on knee implants.
The report showed that while the highest import cost of a tibial plate — used to resurface the tibia bone in the knee — was Rs17,492, its MRP was almost seven times that of Rs1,22,336 .
Dr Harshad Argekar, consultant orthopaedic and spine surgeon, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospitals said the high cost of knee implants was stopping people from getting surgeries done.
“The high cost keeps people away,” he said.
A doctor, who has a private practice, and did not wish to be named, said the cost of instruments required to fit the implants was high.
“The cost runs up to Rs20 lakh. The hospitals don’t own these instruments, they borrow them from distributors. The distributor in turn tries to recover the cost from hospitals by selling them at high margins,” he said.
Another doctor said, “Say the MRP of an implant is Rs85,000, and the hospital buys them in bulk, they get it for Rs60,000, but the hospitals eventually sell it at the MRP,” he said.
Although doctors said it will benefit patients, Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry, said, “We are against piecemeal approach and orthopaedic implants are not essential medicines.”
“However, medical devices do need price control,” he added.