The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Friday mandated manufacturers and importers to print the maximum retail price on package of all medical devices notified under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
The government has notified 22 medical devices, including syringes, needles, catheters, intra-ocular lenses, heart valves, orthopaedic implants, stents and condoms among others, under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and as per the regulation, manufacturers are obligated to display prices on the package.
“It has come to the knowledge of NPPA that several medical devices are available in the market and also being used in healthcare facilities where no MRP is printed on the package by manufacturers/importers. This is a blatant violation of law of the land,” the pricing regulator said in a notice on its website.
Manufacturers were also directed to issue a price list of the notified medical devices to dealers, state drug controllers and governments indicating changes from time to time, NPPA said.
Of the 22 notified medical devices, four are under price control, while up to 10% price hike annually is allowed for the remaining 18.
Any manufacturer not complying with the rules shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount with interest, NPPA said.
“We have rules in place but they are not implemented. When MRPs are not displayed, hospitals can charge any price for the product. We are happy that NPPA is enforcing the rules. Our association is also chasing the Department of Pharmaceuticals to put out an ethics code of marketing for medical devices,” said Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry, a group representing domestic manufacturers.
NPPA has been actively working to monitor prices of medical devices and ensure that patients are not being overcharged for the products.
On 13 February, NPPA fixed the ceiling price of bare metal stents at Rs7,260 and that of drug-eluting stents and biodegradable stents at Rs29,600 in a bid to provide affordable treatment to patients. The ceiling prices came into effect immediately.