Maharashtra govt asks MCI, customs to look into overpricing of medical devices | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra govt asks MCI, customs to look into overpricing of medical devices

The Maharashtra legal metrology department (LMD) — which enforces labelling, pricing and packaging standards — has written to the Medical Council of India (MCI) and customs department about seven city hospitals and several distributors who had allegedly inflated prices of medical devices, including cardiac stents, and violated packaging rules.

mumbai Updated: Feb 27, 2017 13:56 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the drug-pricing watchdog, had drastically cut cost of cardiac stents on February 13.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the drug-pricing watchdog, had drastically cut cost of cardiac stents on February 13.(HT)

The Maharashtra legal metrology department (LMD) — which enforces labelling, pricing and packaging standards — has written to the Medical Council of India (MCI) and customs department about seven city hospitals and several distributors who had allegedly inflated prices of medical devices, including cardiac stents, and violated packaging rules.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the drug-pricing watchdog, had drastically cut cost of cardiac stents on February 13.

In a letter to the commissioner of customs department (Mumbai, Zone III), the LMD pointed out discrepancies between the declared cost of imported medical products and the price at which they were sold. LMD officials said importers are not tagging MRP in proportionate to the declared prices revealed during the customs clearance.

Foreign manufacturers have reduced declared prices of medical devices — such as stents, catheter and allied apparatus used for cardiac assessment and treatment — after they came to know that hospitals and distributors tampered with the MRP tags, an official said.

Amitabh Gupta, controller of legal metrology department, Maharashra, said some imported devices were sold to hospitals by importers and distributors at much lower rates than the declared prices.

Metrology officials have requested the MCI and customs to look into issues such as overpricing and fake products.

“The difference between the declared price at the customs and the actual sale price has resulted in doubts as the import duty is levied based on the amount,” said Amitabh Gupta, controller of legal metrology department, Maharashra.

Chief commissioner of customs Devendra Singh said they are looking into the issue.

Similarly, a complaint was submitted by the metrology department to the MCI, requesting it to look into the operations of various hospitals which had charged varying amounts for same products. Officials added that a month-long investigation had exposed numerous violations such as tampering with price tags.

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