Indian stent as good as imported ones

Last Updated 16 June 2019, 19:47 IST

An Indian made drug-eluting cardiac stent has been found to be as good as its American counterpart in a study involving 23 hospitals in seven European countries.

In an exhaustive trial involving more than 1,400 European patients with heart complications, medical researchers used the Indian stent for half of the patients whereas the rest were given an American stent, considered one of the best in the business.

After 12 months, the outcome remained same for both the groups, the researchers reported in a recent issue of the medical journal Lancet.

A cardiac stent is a device used to unblock clogged arteries. Drug-eluting stents are coated with medicines that help lower the chances of recurrence of an artery narrowing after corrective surgery.

Each year, more than 500,000 stents are used in India. Because of the medical devices’ expanding market and wide price variation between the Indian and imported products, the central government in 2017 brought stents under price control in order to make such life-saving devices affordable.

However, certain lobby groups and foreign manufacturers continue to claim the superiority of imported stents over the indigenous ones. The outcome of the TALENT study carried out in the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy contradicts such a notion.

The Indian stent (Supraflex) is manufactured by a Surat-based company named Sahajanand Medical Technology. It was compared with a US stent (Xience) made by Abbot.

Between October 2016 and July 2017, as many as 1,435 patients were subjected to stenting. While 720 received the Indian stent, 715 were given the American ones.

“The Supraflex was non-inferior to the Xience stent. It is a safe and effective alternative drug-eluting stent to other stents in clinical practice,” the team of 31 researchers reported.

“The Indian stent is equivalent to the imported one. Also the chances of a repeat procedure because of the stent is less in the Indian product. With a size of 60 microns it is also thinner than the US stent (86 micron),” Upendra Kaul, one of the co-chairs of the TALENT study group and a former professor of cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, told DH.

Buoyed by the results of the European trial, Kaul, who currently works at the Batra Hospital, plans yet another study to compare the efficacy of the two cardiac stents on diabetic patients requiring angioplasty.

The plan is to enroll 1,800 patients for the study, which is expected to be launched in six weeks.

(Published 16 June 2019, 19:18 IST)

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