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The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Monday said they have decided to meet again on February 8 to deliberate on the new stent prices.
"After day-long hearing of the views of all the stakeholders, Authority to meet again on February 08, as an extended meeting, to deliberate on new stent prices with the concerns of all on board," said the NPPA in a tweet.
According to industry leaders, the price cap has left little room for innovation, leaving patients with few options.
Earlier, the NPPA had decided to meet on February 5 with the stakeholders to decide on the revision of the stent pricing capping, which was done in 2017.
Why stent manufacturers want differential pricing
Stent manufacturers want the government to apply differential pricing for drug-eluting stents by classifying them on the basis of technology used.
Medical Technology Association of India (MTAI) has recommended to the NPPA to consider creating sub-categories for stents to ensure that significant technological innovation stays commercially rewardable.
"Continuing in the spirit of inclusiveness, we request the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to reconstitute the NLEM committee to enable inclusion of representatives from other relevant sections of the healthcare ecosystem. The broader constitution will give a real chance to the committee to review its previous decision on price capping," said MTAI in a statement.
It said that the committee, in its current form, is invested in the decision it took last year and the review would be fair if it is done by a broader panel.
“Innovative medical device companies are driven by research and quality. Therefore, in the interest of preserving the environment for innovation and ensuring that the patients in India have access to high-quality stent technologies, we continue to urge the government to consider differential pricing for Drug Eluting Stents (DES),” the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), an international lobby group representing medical device companies said in a press release.
AdvaMed has suggested considering alternatives to price control such as trade margin rationalization and more scientific approaches that facilitate differential pricing for innovative medical technologies.
2017's push for creating a new category of high-end stents continues
Last year’s price control on stents—mesh tubes placed in arteries to improve blood flow —led to a price cut of up to 85% and prompted many multinational companies to withdraw their premium products from India.