Refund or face action, govt on stent pricing

Refund or face action, govt on stent pricing

With the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) receiving numerous complaints about patients being overcharged for stents, it directed hospitals on Saturday to make prompt refunds to avoid action.

“If the hospitals under the scanner refund money to patients before NPPA issues ‘demand notice’, matter ends till there is no new complaint,” the drug pricing regulator tweeted.

NPPA said if it receives a complaint, a show-cause notice is issued, seeking an explanation from the hospital or company, and a demand notice when the violation is proved. The regulator also said it would soon audit angioplasty bills.

However, citing requests of patients who have got refunds and wished to continue treatment in their respective hospitals, the authority did not give out more details. It also asked hospitals and nursing homes to make separate bills for the stents.

In a major relief to patients, NPPA had last week reduced the prices of coronary stents by up to 85%, capping them at Rs 7,260 for bare metal ones and Rs 29,600 for the drug-eluting variety.

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