In an endeavour to make essential medical instruments such as pacemakers, catheters affordable to patients, the Government is planning to take tough measures.
As per a TOI report, the Government is preparing a list of “essential medical devices” to introduce anti-profiteering measures such as capping trade margins.
Report says that trade margin could be in the range of 30-50 percent which will act as a deterrent to distributors, wholesalers, retailers and even hospitals from drawing wide margins on essential instruments.
The trade margin is the difference between the price at which manufacturers sell drugs to stockists (and distributors) and maximum retail price (MRP) to patients.
Presently, the Government can control only those essential items which fall into category of National List of Essential devices. These are cardiac stents, drug eluting stents, condoms and intra uterine devices. Recently knee implants also brought in under the rice control.
As per the report, Indian Council of Medical research (ICMR), a research and analysis arm of health ministry, has called for a meeting on July 26 in this regard where various stakeholders will discuss various issues pertaining to price of medical instruments.
Rounds of consultation have already taken place among National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), and Government’s think tank NITI Aayog in this regard.