After cardiac stents, around 14 more medical devices are likely to see a price regulation in the coming months, according to a report in Times of India.
There have been complaints of these devices being sold at inflated rates in hospitals.
The report revealed that the list of these 14 devices includes orthopaedic implants, intraocular lenses, artificial heart valves, syringes, needles as well as catheters.
"We are collecting data on these devices on a war-footing. It will give us a fair idea about the volume of consumption, cost of manufacturing and price at which they are supplied to a patient. Exorbitant pricing in the health system will be dealt with strongly," National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) chairman Bhupendra Singh told TOI.
The report quoted industry insiders as saying that the imported hip and knee implants easily see profit margins in the range of 500-1,000 per cent.
The price of a medical device can be capped only if it is included in the National List of Essential Medicines (NELM).
As on today, 14 devices are classified as 'drugs' under Section 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, but none of them feature in the list of essential medicines.
If a drug is not in the NELM, the NPPA can merely ensure that their MRP is not increased by more than 10% annually.
"It is therefore important for us to see the extent of profiteering in other devices and seek the union health ministry's help to add them to the list of essential medicines before their prices can be capped. In our online platform IPDMS (Integrated Pharmaceutical Database Management System), a tab has been created for information on medical devices and not just stents," Bhupendra Singh told TOI.