There must be a comprehensive regulatory framework that looks beyond price caps to ensure quality healthcare coverage for all citizens
With the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) venturing into new territory, from essential medicines to medical devices, the spotlight has returned to India’s long-standing drug-pricing dilemma. On 14 February, NPPA significantly lowered the price of stents—a tiny tube-shaped device placed in narrowed or blocked coronary arteries to maintain blood supply—for which hospitals would previously charge anything between Rs50,000 and Rs2.5 lakh. The price of bare metal stents has now been fixed at Rs7,260 and of drug-eluting stents at Rs29,600. And more recently, on Monday, NPPA reduced the price of cancer drugs by up to 86% and diabetes drugs by up to 42%.