A patient with a bandaged leg sits in a wheelchair. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Drug Price Regulator Issues Notice To 21 Hospitals Over Knee Implant Prices

Drug pricing regulator NPPA has sought explanation from 21 hospitals for not displaying on their websites prices of knee implant systems at which they are billing patients.

The hospitals, in Rajasthan and Gujarat, have been given seven days to respond and explain reasons for not adhering to the government’s directives.

In a notice to the hospitals, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority said the websites of hospitals did not display MRP or price of knee implant systems at which they were billing patients, along with brand name, specifications and names of manufacturing or marketing company.

The list includes five hospitals in Jodhpur, six in Udaipur, three each in Bikaner and Nagaur in Rajasthan. It also includes four hospitals in Ahmedabad.

As per a notification on August 16, 2017 and a subsequent office memorandum, the NPPA said hospitals, nursing homes and clinics were required to display on the homepage of their websites the MRP or price of knee implant systems at which they were billing patients.

Besides cardiac stents, the government had fixed a price range for knee implants from Rs 54,000 to Rs 1.14 lakh, nearly 70 percent lower than their earlier price.

With private hospitals reportedly charging exorbitant rates, the government said the move to cap the maximum retail price of the keen implants will save patients an estimated Rs 1,500 crore annually.