Stent maker Abbott
has filed an application with the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) for withdrawing two of its high-end stents. These are its fully dissolvable Absorb
and Xience Alpine.
This move is a result of the government capping prices of stents in February, the company has confirmed, saying that it would be unsustainable to have the latest technologies at this point.
was the first company to introduce Absorb, that could dissolve completely with time unlike other stents that leave a residue in the heart.
was priced at almost Rs 2 lakh before the cap was imposed. In February, the NPPA capped the price of all drug-eluting stents at Rs 29,600.
had already begun informal talks with distributors about withdrawing their high-end stents soon after the pricing order on February 14.
The company spokesperson said, “Following the NPPA price ceiling decision, we have examined and reexamined whether there is a sustainable way to make available in India two of Abbott's latest stent technologies, the Alpine drug eluting stent and the Absorb
dissolving stent, considering their higher manufacturing costs and other associated costs. We have determined it is not sustainable, and we•have applied to the NPPA to withdraw these two stents.”
The company also stated it would continue to sell other stents in the country, and that this withdrawal was not linked to the central drug regulator asking the company to keep it informed about any kind of adverse effects it has on its patients.
As stents fall under the National list of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and the government has invoked Section 3 of the Drug Price Control Order (2013), the company has to file an application if it wants to withdraw any stent. Absorb
and Xience Alpine
will be marketed in India till it receives any intimation from the NPPA.
Soon after the NPPA capped prices of all drug eluting stents at Rs 29,600, all multinational stent manufacturers were upset. They said NPPA did not consider the fact there were stents of superior quality like Absorb
that deserved higher price than the older generation devices.