New Delhi, Feb 13:  The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), India’s drug pricing regulator revised the ceiling prices of bare metal stents and drug eluting ones on Monday. The prices of bare metal stents (BMS) has been raised from current Rs 7,400 to Rs 7,660 while the prices of drug eluting stents (DES) has been slashed to Rs 27,890 from Rs 30,180,  excluding the goods and services tax (GST).

As per the reports, the NPPA has also listed regulated prices of other essential accessories used during the stenting procedure, including cardiac guidewire, balloon catheter and guiding wire, cardiac drug eluting balloon or cutting balloon and cardiac guiding catheter.

The revised prices will be effective from Tuesday, the NPPA said in a notification. The ceiling prices shall also be applicable to all the stocks of coronary stents available for sale in the trade channel, it added.

The notification further stated that it has been decided that there is no case for sub classification of DES in the light of lack of enough clinical evidence to support superiority of one DES or other.

The drug pricing regulator noted that after intensive deliberations on all the issues and available information/market statistics at its disposal, it was of the unanimous view that “cardiac stents being an essential drug under Schedule I of DPCO, 2013 and part of NLEM, 2015 having paramount importance on public health needs to continue to be kept under price regulation in larger public interest”.

The manufacturers may add goods and services tax and no other charges in the calculation of MRP, if they have actually paid such taxes or if it is payable to the government on the ceiling price specified, the NPPA notification read.

Welcoming the price revision, All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) issued a statement and asked for expansion of price cap to consumables as a necessary step to making procedures like angiography and angioplasty more affordable and accessible to patients.

On the other hand, the decision to cap stent prices did not go down well with the Medical Technology Association of India.

The revision has come almost an year after the prices of coronary stents were slashed by up to 85 per cent.  The maximum retail cost of a stent currently ranges from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1.98 lakh. Data at NPPA website showed that hospitals make the maximum profits on stents, with trade margin going up to 654 per cent.

A coronary stent is a tube-shaped device placed in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. It keeps the arteries open in the treatment of coronary heart related diseases.

(With inputs from agencies)