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Top Hospitals sell Catheters at 500 percent Profit , Govt moves to Action

New Delhi: After the capping of prices of Cardiac Stents, authorities have now shifted their focus to another consumable for cardiac procedures namely, different types of catheters. In a report that has been sent by the Maharashtra FDA to the NPPA, the FDA has demanded a price cap on balloon and guiding catheters, which, the report said, were fetching private hospitals massive profit margins.

TOI reports that profits on these catheters run as high as 500% on the imported price ( for Imported catheters) and results have come after an extensive probe was done on hospitals, distributors and manufacturers

The hospitals which were scanned during the two month long FDA investigation in Maharashtra include  Fortis Hospital in Mulund, Hiranandani Hospital in Vashi, Jupiter Hospital in Thane, Kamal Nayan Bajaj Hospital in Aurangabad, Sahyadri Hospital in Pune, Wockhardt Hospital in Nagpur, Platinum Hospital in Mulund, BSES Hospital in Andheri, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, Jaslok Hospital on Peddar Road, Asian Heart Institute in Bandra and Bombay Hospital in New Marine Lines.

“Our over-two-month investigation spanning 12 hospitals across Maharashtra, as well as visits to distributors and manufacturers in Delhi and Chennai, reveal that patients end up paying 70% to 84% more than the landing cost of, say, a balloon catheter,” said outgoing FDA commissioner Dr Harshdeep Kamble. Indian Express Reports that margin of 25 to 472 per cent on six varieties of balloon catheter and 50 to 529 per cent on four brands of guiding catheter was discovered by the FDA in hospitals in Delhi

Citing the case of Fortis Mulund, the FDA report observed that if the manufacturing (or landing) cost of balloon catheter is Rs 5,918 for distributors and a hospital purchases it for Rs 7,950, the catheter is sold at Rs 22,000 to the patient. Moreover, what is even more troublesome for these hospitals is when the FDA found that majority of these hospitals were  storing medical devices on unlicenced premises. Show-cause notices have been issued to hospitals
The FDA in its report stated  that the NPPA should bring control over prices of balloon catheters and guiding catheters by declaring a fixed profit margin for the manufacturer and importer as well as distributors and hospitals.

“The catheters are already included in the drug category. They should now be included in the National List of Essential Medicines so that there can be a cap on their prices,” Dr Kamble told IE.
Hospitals Response
When the media persons contacted these hospitals, most hospitals explained that the catheter was included in the price of cardiac procedures and not charged separately. Many clarified that they charged the catheter prices below the MRP.

Source: with inputs
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