Price capping will hit arrival of new-gen stents, say cardiologists

Price capping will hit arrival of new-gen stents, say cardiologists

Cardiologists opine that the Union government should re-consider its decision to fix a cap on the prices of stents only under two categories. They have sought that stents be capped based on the performance of the device.

Speaking to DH on Thursday, Dr C N Manjunath, Director, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, said that even in the past, the Cardiologists’ Society of India had submitted a representation to the government.

The society had sought that the prices of stents must be capped based on the performance. They had also urged the government to have multiple consultations with cardiologists before capping the prices of the stents.

Dr Manjunath said that price capping must be done after categorising stents based on their performance. “The cap must be put based on performance, efficacy and safety of the stents. At present, there are only two broad categories,” he added.

Cardiologists are concerned, as they believe that this might minimise choices for patients. “The new generation stents will not even hit the Indian market with such a cap,” he added.

The cost of stent, he said, is based on the high quality polymer that is used to coat the metallic object. This polymer releases drugs at designated intervals.

Dr Manjunath said that there is no quality assessment for indigenous stents. “The stents from the US pass through quality control and clinical trial is conducted on thousands of patients. With every year passing by, there will be improvements and betterment of technology. At least 40% patients who undergo stenting are also diabetic. In such cases, the high-end stents work best,” he said.

Noted cardiologist Dr Ramana Rao said the price capping was a welcome move and would bring cheer to many poor. However, he said, the problem could arise if other countries refuse to launch better stents in the Indian market in the future.

“The volume of patients in India is so huge that, the government might have to overlook the capping and consider the available option,” he said.
DH News Service

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