Benefits likely to accrue due to 69 % cap in prices of implants
Srinagar: The recent ceiling in the prices of orthopaedic implants will benefit over 2000 orthopaedic patients in Jammu and Kashmir recommended for knee and hip replacement surgeries every year.
According to doctors, the main orthopaedic and trauma centres of Kashmir and Jammu have recommended over 2000 patients for knee and hip replacement surgeries. However, they said very few go for the procedure due to its high cost.
The patients, who are facing a huge financial burden due to costly knee and hip replacement surgeries will be hugely benefitted following the order by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to cap prices of implants up to 69 percent, they said.
Medical Superintendent Bone and Joint Hospital, Dr Abdul Rashid Badoo told Kashmir Reader that the hospital has advised nearly 30 patients for knee replacement last month.
“Most of the patients usually avoid surgeries due to a variety of reasons especially cost involved in the surgery. However, after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) order people have been relieved from a huge burden,” he said.
Dr Badoo said more people need hip replacement surgeries every month due to trauma and degeneration of bones in old and some ailing people.
“Our hospital was already selling the implants on subsidised rates. However, the revised prices by NPPA will further reduce the prices and relieve burden on the patients,” he said.
Similarly, Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu recommended nearly 1000 patients for replacement of the knee and hip surgeries.
“The surgeries are very expensive due to the huge cost of foreign implants. This is the reason that many patients continue to suffer rather than going for it,” Head, Department of orthopaedic, GMC Jammu, Dr Anil Gupta told Kashmir Reader.
He said after the NPPA order the Medical College would go for re-tendering of the implants so that benefit is transferred immediately to the people.
“This will come as a relief to poor people especially,” he said adding that NPPA must think of cutting the rates of other equipments also.
As per the NPPA order, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader, the most widely used complete knee implant (cobalt chromium) will now cost Rs 54,720 excluding goods and services tax (GST) as against Rs 1.58 lakh earlier. NPPA has also capped prices of a second surgery, if required, to Rs 1.13 lakh as against Rs 2.76 lakh earlier.
The move has come-up after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and later announcements by the Government of India. Earlier, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had capped prices of cardiac stents.
It has also capped the prices of other metals especially used in treatment, such as titanium and oxidised zirconium, up to 69 percent. The implant which was earlier available at Rs 2.49 lakh will be sold with a cap of 69 percent at Rs 76,600.
According to NPPA notification, the prices will be applicable with immediate effect.
Early this year, the NPPA had brought the prices of cardiac stents down to make them more affordable to all patients.
Stents are wire-like meshes being used to remove blocks, largely in the heart.
The prices of stents include drug-coated were slashed by NPPA to about Rs 30,000 from as much as Rs 2 lakh.
Some of the companies that sell their products in India are Stryker, Smith & Nephew, Biomet, Zimmer and Johnson & Johnson.
In its order, the NPPA said there are as many as 20 million patients who need arthroplasty in India, out of which only about 100,000 manage to afford it every year.
“All the manufacturers ‘will continue to make sure the availability of all the brands of implants’ and ‘ensure that no disruption is caused in the supply chain because of printing new MRPs,’” it said in the order.
The order cited a World Health Organisation report saying that osteoarthritis is likely to become the world’s fourth leading cause of disability by the year 2020.
“It is noticed that orthopaedic-knee implants are having unjustified, unreasonable and irrational high trade margins leading to their exorbitant prices, which affects the out-of-pocket expenses of patients and lakhs of patients are not able to pay for arthroplasty procedures because of these exorbitant prices and are suffering in pain,” the order said. “Preventing such a scenario is essential in the individual as well as national interest,” the order added.