Girish Bapat said that the state has set up a permanent arbitration to curb the unethical overpricing of medical equipment.
Mumbai: The cost of medical equipment for treatment of heart, cancer and eye surgery may soon be reduced as the state has asked the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to include the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) on priority basis to make equipment available at affordable prices. Due to overpricing, patients have to bear the burden of high charges. The concerns were discussed in a recent meeting between the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the NPPA officials. Girish Bapat, Cabinet minister for the FDA, said that the state government has made a permanent arbitration to curb the unethical overpricing of medical equipment.
According to FDA officials, there were complaints regarding medical devices being sold at an extra rate without the maximum retail price (MRP), hence the FDA had asked the NPPA to fix prices for the devices. The official further said that patients were subjected to additional financial burden as the hospitals and laboratories using these devices recovered their costs by levying higher charges. A positive discussion took place about the pricing of the medical equipment in the meeting.
Mr Bapat said, “Most of the hospitals reuse the materials used for heart surgeries. And the price of intraocular lenses and stents are also high. Due to this, the state government had made a permanent arbitration to curb the unethical practices.” He also confirmed the FDA’s request to NPPA regarding fixing prices of devices.
The state government has decided to fix the cost of the heart surgery equipment. For these types of surgeries, the government has decided to include 12 medical devices required for cardiac surgery in the NLEM such as like intraocular lenses, catheter, etc. Maharashtra will be the first state in the country to include medical devices in the NLEM.