Drug pricing regulator NPPA has sought explanation from 21hospitals of Rajasthan and Gujarat for not displaying on homepage of their websites prices of knee implant systems at which they are billing the patients. Out of these, the Ahmedabad-based hospitals are: Shalby Hospital (SG Highway), SAL Hospital (Opposite Doordarshan Tower), Aditya Orthopaedic Hospital (Jodhpur) and Aalok Ortho Care (Anandnagar).
The hospitals have been given seven days’ time to respond and explain reasons for not adhering to the government directives. In a notice to the hospitals, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) 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.
Commenting on the matter, Dr Vikram Shah of Shalby Hospital said: “We mention the rate on our website, however, it has been down for about four weeks for upgradation. We follow all government norms and all details are also displayed at the hospital.” Chirag Rajput, VP (Marketing) at SAL Hospital, said he was unaware about any such notice by the NPPA and that he would have to check it out before offering any comments.
Dr Aalok Shah of Aalok Ortho Care could not be reached for comments. Amit Agarwal, one of the partners of Aditya Orthopedic Hospital, said, “We clearly mention prices of knee implants on our website.” Among the hospitals asked to give explanation, besides four in the city, five are in Jodhpur, six in Udaipur, three each in Bikaner and Nagaur in Rajasthan. “You are hereby directed to explain within seven days from the date of uploading of the notice on the website the reason for not adhering the direction given...,” said the notice signed by NPPA Assistant Director Jay Prakash Ray on October 10, 2017.
As per a notification on August 16, 2017 and 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. After cardiac stents, on August 16 this year, 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 of capping the maximum retail price of the keen implants will save patients an estimated Rs 1,500 crore annually. – Ahmadabad Mirror