In a move that may bring cheers to patients suffering from coronary heart disease, the central government on Wednesday issued a key notification to impose price control on coronary stents and notified them as 'scheduled-I drugs' under the Drug Price Control Order, media reports said.
Following this, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) can now fix the price of these life-saving medical devices including bare metal stents and biodegradable stents.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) on Wednesday evening notified bare metal, drug eluting and biodegradable stents in Schedule-I of the country’s Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013, media reports said.
The government notification came after citizens and patients' rights groups filed a petition in Delhi High Court seeking price control on stents.
According to an NPPA report, the coronary stents are currently sold at a highly inflated price, keeping them out of reach of a large number of people requiring angioplasty and compelling many others who go for it to spend much more than their capacity.
The market is flooded with a diversity of stents, domestic and foreign-made, with price tags ranging from about Rs 25,000 to over Rs 200,000 per stent.
According to media reports, around 25 per cent of deaths in India is attributed to Cardiovascular disease (CVD) Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the commonest CVD accounting for 90-95 per cent of all CVD cases and deaths.
In India, only about 3 out of 1000 coronary heart disease needy patients are treated with angioplasty compared to 32 in the US, the reports said.
As per the National Interventional Council (NIC) Registry data in 2015 a total of 3,53,346 angioplasties were performed and 4,73,000 stents were implanted in India. Angioplasty is the procedure of placing stent in an artery.