The country’s drug price regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), has capped the prices of orthopaedic knee implants, leading to their prices falling by as much as 65 per cent. The decision was taken after it was found that the manufacturing companies were allegedly making “unethical profits” from the sale of such devices.
The decision by NPPA is also seen to be motivated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Independence Day, in which he called for bringing down the price of medical devices. The cobalt chromium knee implant available at over Rs 1,58,000 at hospitals will now be available at Rs 54,720. At present, such implants have a market share of 80 per cent.
“The move for capping orthopaedic implants comes after the NPPA found that companies manufacturing such devices were making unethical profits,” NPPA said. Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar added: “The government will consider invoking Section 3 (i) of the Drug Price Control Order if manufacturers do not cooperate in keeping adequate stock.”
Price regulator further said to reduce the price rates of implants. For instance, special metals like titanium or oxidised zirconium priced at almost Rs 4,50,000 will cost Rs 76,600, highly-flexible implants from Rs 1,81,728 to Rs 56,490. Also, the price of revision implants has been lowered from Rs 2,76,869 to Rs 1,13,950.
“The prices are such that neither the manufacturer nor the patient will be at a loss,” Kumar said.