Drug pricing regulator NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) on Wednesday announced a price cap on knee replacements. NPPA, which had earlier put limits on the prices of coronary stents, slashed the prices of total knee replacement systems and their individual components by as much as 69 per cent, an official notification issued by NPPA said. According to the price ceiling notice, the price of total knee implants made of cobalt chromium has now been capped at Rs 54,720, down 65 per cent from its average maximum retail price of Rs 1.58 lakh. These are the most widely used knee implants.
With reports of private hospitals charging exorbitant rates for such products, the government capped the maximum retail price of the knee implants, a move that will save patients an estimated Rs 1,500 crore annually."Government will not remain a mute spectator and will not allow this illegal and unethical profiteering," Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar told a news briefing. There are 1.5 crore to 2 crore patients who require knee implant surgery annually, news agency Press Trust of India reported.
However every year only 1.2 lakh to 1.5 lakh knee surgeries take place in the country, the agency cited the government as saying.
Earlier this month, pricing regulator NPPA had stated that the average trade margin on orthopaedic knee implants was found to be as high as 313 per cent.
The cost of titanium oxidised zirconium knee implants was capped at Rs 76,600, the NPPA order noted. Earlier, such implants were sold at Rs 2.5-4.5 lakh.
The government had in February slashed the maximum price of life-saving heart stent implants by up to 85 per cent by capping them at Rs 7,260 for bare metal ones and Rs 29,600 for the drug-eluting variety.