Published: Thu, August 17, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

After cardiac stents, Centre slashes knee implant prices

After cardiac stents, Centre slashes knee implant prices

Around 1 to 1.5 lakh orthopaedic knee procedures are done in India every year. These implants are now available between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh.

Special knee implants for cancer or tumours will follow the prices of revision knee implants, NPPA said.

The decision to impose the cap comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day speech that prices of knee surgery would be brought down.

Noting that osteoarthritis is likely to become fourth leading cause of disability by 2020, the price control body said: "The estimated patients who require knee replacement surgeries, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, is about 1.5 to 2 crore, out of which only about 1 lakh-plus well-off patients are in a position to pay for it every year".

"Slashing total knee replacement price is good initiative and will be benefical for patients if worldwide companies like Depuy, Smith Nephew, and Stryker also slash their prices and their implants are available at the new government price".

"Government is under Constitutional obligation to provide fair, reasonable and affordable price for orthopedic implants and therefore its immediate intervention is imperative to check unethical profiteering and exploitive pricing at the cost of the patients in an unregulated market", said NPPA Chairman Bhupendra Singh.

Stating that Indian total knee implants manufacturers are nearly available at the new prices mentioned in the notification of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), he said that Indian companies are new to the technology while the global knee implant manufacturers have been in the market for over 30-35 years. "In our country 1.5 to 2 crore people suffer from knee problems, who need health assistance", Kumar said.

Under the new price regime, the MRP of most widely used complete knee implant (Cobalt-Chromium) has been fixed at Rs 54,720 plus GST, a reduction of 65 per cent from earlier average MRP of Rs 1,58,324. In most cases, the ceiling prices of these components have been set according to the materials used, but in the case of certain components, these have been fixed regardless of the materials used. "We would like this to be the start for NPPA to systematically fix prices of all other devices on which data was collected in public interest", said Malini Aisola of patient group All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN).

NPPA has earlier found that importers, distributors and hospitals involved in ortho knee implants were enjoying substantial trade margins. This particular type of knee implant has around 80 per cent market share. High flexibility implants will now cost Rs. 56,490 plus GST, a cut of 69% from the average MRP of Rs. 1,81,728. The MRP price of a knee implant are jacked up exorbitantly for the patient. The total trade margin on five implant components used in the knee range between 211 per cent and 449 per cent. The Titanium alloy that were earlier available for about Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh, will now cost Rs 67,110.

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