Up to 450% mark-up on knee implants, govt may cap prices

Rakesh Saini

New Delhi :  Just like stents, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has revealed the unrealistic trade margins enjoyed by sellers of orthopaedic (knee) implants medical devices . According to the analysis done by the NPPA, the average trade margins on some of the devices used in knee implants are as high as 449 per cent. The total trade margin on five implant components used in the knee range between 211 per cent and 449 per cent. As a result, an insert, which has a landed price of ₹14,071 finally costs the patient ₹1.03 lakh – 449 per cent higher, a price sheet from the NPPA showed. A similar exercise conducted by the Authority before bringing the prices of coronary stents under strict price control, which had shown that between the pharmaceutical company and the patient, trade margins of as much as 1026 per cent were added to the life-saving devices. As a result of which, a stent with a landed cost of about₹40,820 could finally burn a hole worth ₹1.98 lakh in the patient’s pocket. The Authority had finally capped the prices of stents in February, decreasing the maximum retail price by 80 per cent for some devices. It is estimated that over two lakh replacement surgeries are conducted in India and the market is growing at an estimated 26-30 per cent annually.

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