Regulator NPPA today said it has received complaints against two hospitals in Haryana and Uttarakhand for overcharging on prices of stents. In a tweet, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said its helpline has received complaint against Oxygen Hospital in Rohtak, Haryana and Bharat Heart Institute, Deharadun, Uttarakhand for overcharging.
In another tweet, the drug price regulator said the “cap of the 8 per cent margin in trade channel of #CoronaryStents is meant to stop unethical marketing practices which lead to poor quality of stents”. Yesterday, the NPPA said it had issued show-cause notices to some hospitals over pricing of stents.
The regulator had also said it was investigating over-pricing complaints against hospitals, including Lilavati Hospital (Mumbai), Max Saket (New Delhi), Metro Hospital (Faridabad), PGI Chandigarh, Ram Murti Hospital (Bareilly), and has alerted the concerned State Drug Controllers.
Max Healthcare and Lilavati Hospital, however, today denied overcharging patients for stents and insisted they were complying with the NPPA guidelines on pricing of the medical device.
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The NPPA had yesterday warned hospitals, stent manufacturers and importers of legal action in case they are found spreading “misinformation” about shortage of the medical device in the wake of price cap.
It had earlier said in a memorandum that as trade margin of 8 per cent is included in the ceiling price of stents, no additional charge except local sales taxes and VAT can be demanded from patients.
The 8 per cent margin also adequately covers hospital handling charges, if any, the regulator had said.
In a major relief to patients, the NPPA last week slashed prices of coronary stents by up to 85 per cent, capping them at Rs 7,260 for bare metal ones and Rs 29,600 for the drug eluting variety.