New Delhi: Hailing the Centre’s decision to put a cap on prices of coronary stents, a group of doctors sought a similar cap on the prices of medicines, hip and knee implants and intraocular lenses.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) said these drugs and implants are also charged “exorbitantly” like coronary stents.
It hailed the government’s decision to put a cap on the prices of coronary stents and credited the Prime Minister for this “revolutionary” measure.
“The ADEH urges the Prime Minister to put a cap on the prices of drugs, particularly generic and cancer medicines, and on intraocular lenses and knee and hip replacement implants as these are also charged exorbitantly like coronary stents,” the letter written by ADEH core committee members G S Grewal and Arun Mitra said.
The ADEH also attached documents to show how suppliers of the drugs, particularly those for cancer, and knee and hip replacement implants are exorbitantly priced, sometimes 200 per cent more than the actual price.
“There is a dirty trend prevailing in the healthcare system where the drug manufacturing companies, including the leading and prominent ones, are supplying drugs and medicines to the hospitals at far less a price than the MRP mentioned on the drugs,” they said in the letter.
There is a practice of special ‘hospital rate’ and ‘MRP’ which is not only “unethical but criminal”, they said.
They said an unsuspecting patient has no reason or way not to pay MRP mentioned on drugs or implants, which is highly “inflated and exorbitant” and asserted that MRP on drugs and implants must be meticulously monitored and regulated.
Prices should be fixed after full assessment of the cost and that should be mentioned on the drugs, they said.
“The MRP mentioned on the drugs is sometimes even 200 per cent more than the actual price. Like in the case of coronary stents a cap has been put on the prices, the same is needed to be done for the medicines and implants.
“This will go a long way in providing much needed relief and succour to the millions of patients who either cannot afford the treatment because of exorbitant prices or are made to pay through their nose,” the letter said.
Questioning the claims of corporate hospitals that imported stents were better, the ADEH had yesterday alleged these hospitals have formed a “grand alliance” to subvert the Centre’s recent decision to cap prices of life-saving stents.
It had said the decision by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to cap the prices of life-saving stents will hit the profits of these hospitals which were absolutely “unethical and criminal”.