Medical device industry decries cap on stent prices

Medical device industry decries cap on stent prices

Members of AdvaMed India on Tuesday expressed concern over the recent capping of prices of coronary stents. They said it would limit the options for patients.

Addressing a panel discussion in the city on Tuesday, members of this trade association for medical devices said the government must introduce alternative measures to provide affordable healthcare to all.

Varun Khanna, chairman, AdvaMed India Working Group said long term tax exemptions and cuts in customs duty would ensure that the cost of medical devices is brought down considerably.

According to AdvaMed, duty amounts to 20% of the cost, taxes are10-15% and 16% is transport cost. If the government addresses these issues, the cost would come down considerably, they said.

Dr Sharan Shivraj Patil, chairman, Sparsh Hospitals, who was part of the discussion, said price capping on medical devices would adversely impact the growth of the healthcare sector.

“Many doctors living abroad want to return to India as the same quality devices are available here. But such decisions would discourage them from coming back as options are limited,” he said.

Dr Patil said both the medical device industry and doctors work in partnership. “If the enthusiasm of the industry is curbed, we can forget about innovations,” he said.

He said the government also ought to focus on better investments that benefit the Indian industry at large. Quoting an example of threading implants, Dr Patil said companies in India did not have a tool to measure the precision of these threads. This has forced doctors to import the device even though it is manufactured in the country.

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