Medtronic to withdraw latest stents from India after price cap

Medtronic to withdraw latest stents from India after price cap

Medtronic to withdraw latest stents from India after price cap

After Abbott, another major multinational medical devices maker Medtronic has decided to withdraw its latest stents from India following drug price regulator NPPA's move to cap their prices. Besides, Boston Scientific has said it too may follow suit.

"We have submitted an application for withdrawal of Resolute Onyx under the provisions of Drug Price Control Order," Medtronic said in a statement.

The company said it will continue to supply Resolute Onyx till "we get the required permissions from the authorities. Our decision to withdraw or introduce products is made only after taking into consideration all guidelines and norms set by the government".

Medtronic said it will continue to work towards "increasing access of cardiovascular therapy to patients in India and cater to different needs of patients and physicians while providing them with a choice of clinically-proven and globally-certified stents like Resolute and Resolute Integrity".

Boston Scientific said while its other drug eluting stents will continue to be available it may take a decision to discontinue its next generation stents Synergy and Promous Premier.

"Since the Price control order in February 2017, Boston Scientific has been in a constant dialogue with the government bodies under various legal provisions. We have sought the possible reliefs available under the law and also submitted details on the superior clinical attributes of our stents Synergy and Promus Premier," a Boston Scientific India spokesperson said in a statement.

Any decision to discontinue these next generation stents may be taken as a part of the 'corporate sustainability review', it added. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had slashed prices of stents by up to 85 per cent in February.

The company said that "other drug eluting stents shall continue to remain available in India as per guidelines and norms set by the law".

Last week, Abbott said it was seeking to withdraw two types of its latest stents technologies -- the Alpine drug eluting stent and the Absorb dissolving stent. An Abbott spokesperson said that following the NPPA's price ceiling decision, it "examined and re-examined" whether there is a sustainable way to make available two of the latest stent technologies in India.

The company took into consideration Alpine drug eluting and the Absorb dissolving stents' higher manufacturing costs and other associated costs. "We have determined it is not sustainable, and we have applied to the NPPA to withdraw these two stents. Presently, only a very small percentage of patients in India receive Alpine and Absorb," the spokesperson said.

The company however has said it would continue to make available all other XIENCE coronary stent products within the ceiling price set by the NPPA.

In February, NPPA had said that all manufacturers and importers were under "legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of coronary stents of all brands which were available in the country before price cap".

The government had included coronary stents in the national list of essential medicines (NLEM), 2015, in July 2016 and in the first Schedule of the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013, in December 2016.