In a major relief to patients, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) extended the ceiling prices of orthopedic knee implants for another year.
“The ceiling price as applicable to orthopedic knee implants for knee replacement system are hereby extended up to 15 September 2021,” said the notification.
The decision comes as a setback to the manufacturers who were pressing the government to create a separate category for ‘innovative’ knee implants that could be kept out of price control to encourage innovations and research and development.
The drug pricing watchdog had last month extended the price cap on orthopaedic knee implants till September 15. The earlier price cap was valid till August 15. NPPA had allowed companies to take a 10% hike for their products last year.
The regulator had brought the implants under price regulation in 2017 and slashed their prices by up to 70% by using extraordinary powers granted under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013.
The medical devices industry has been unhappy with the price cap, arguing that it dissuades R&D in this crucial segment.
Indian medical device makers and social organisations working for improving healthcare access are opposed to any such relaxation.
Malini Aisola, co-convenor of All India Drugs Action Network (Aidan), said there was no justification for sub-categorisation in price control of knee implants. – The Health Master