HC asking for fixed Heart stent prices

By: Rakesh Saini

New Delhi : Despite been included in national essential list of medicines (NLEM) MRP of heart stents is not fixed. “What do you have to say with regard to fixation of MRP of coronary stents?” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asked while issuing notice to the Centre and seeking its response by December 22, the next date of hearing in the matter. The order came on a PIL claiming that the rate of the coronary stents has not been fixed despite it being included in NLEM 2015 by way of a notification issued on July 19 this year. The petition, which has been moved by a lawyer, has alleged that the government and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) are being “insensitive and irresponsible” towards the people by not taking any steps to fix the price of such stents which are allegedly being sold at higher rates in the country. The petitioner, Birender Sangwan, has claimed that people in all age groups in the country suffer from heart ailments requiring use of stents and not all of them can afford this treatment.
He has sought a direction to the NPPA “to control the rate and decide a particular maximum retail price (MRP) of the coronary stents”. The petition also seeks a direction to the Drug Controller General of India “for providing prompt availability of the coronary stents at medical stores to enable patients to have a quick access” to these devices.

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