Price of life-saving coronary stents has been capped by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) at Rs 30,000.
According to a notification on NPPA's website, the ceiling price of bare metal stents has been fixed at Rs 7,260 per unit and that of drug eluting stents and biodegradable stents has been fixed at Rs 29,600 per unit. The ceiling price excludes local tax and will come into effect immediately. This price is also applicable to all stocks in the trade channel.
The new prices for stents have been fixed under para 19 of the drug (price control) order which takes into consideration extraordinary circumstances for fixing of prices of drugs. It states, "The Government may, in case of extra-ordinary circumstances, if it considers necessary so to do in public interest, fix the ceiling price or retail price of any Drug for such period"
A bare metal stent costs Rs 7,000-20,000. Drug-eluting stents, which are inserted into diseased coronary arteries and release drugs to prevent cell proliferation, make up almost 95% of the market and cost Rs 30,000-80,000, while the price of a dissolvable stent in India is Rs 2-3 lakh.
The current level at which the price have been fixed comes as a huge relief to patients all over the country who had to earlier pay prices varying from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh for a stent.