National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) of India has started its 24×7 helpline number. NPPA took to Twitter to announce its helpline number yesterday. It tweeted:”NPPA puts its helpline no: 1800111255 in 24×7 mode; it has already started buzzing.” Union minister for Chemicals, Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar has lauded the authority and tweeted, “An excellent example set by leading from the front. All top executives of NPPA ready to help the citizens”
Earlier, India’s drug pricing regulator introduced a price cap on knee implants, bringing down the rates of some products by as much as 65 per cent. The helpline number has been started for patients to register complaints of over-priced knee implants billed on or after Thursday, reported Indian Express. The authority has also requested hospitals to refund the extra amount charged on knee implants from Thursday.
A notification issued by government’s price regulator said after the price capping move the most widely used complete knee implant (cobalt chromium) will now cost Rs 54,720, excluding GST as against Rs 1.58 lakh earlier, as per Mint report. The regulator has also capped prices of a second surgery, to Rs 1.13 lakh as against Rs 2.76 lakh earlier, the report added.
Companies like Zimmer, Johnson and Johnson (J&J), Biomet, Smith and Nephew etc. are among those who supply implants to private hospitals. “We will monitor each complaint against hospitals and manufacturers,” an official from Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. However, pharma players have claimed that the categorisation for price caps is very broad and it is difficult for companies as high-end products see a ceiling as regular ones, as per IE.