The Indian government is considering capping prices on medical devices it deems essential to health care, according to a new report from LiveMint.
The government has assembled a committee to create a National List of Essential Medical Devices which it intends to make available with assurances related to both quality and price, according to the report.
“The devices and medical equipment included under the list will be those which are required for the basic running of medical premises including hospitals, clinics and those required to handle medical emergency,” a government document stated, according to LiveMint’s report. “It is pertinent to mention that the medical devices and essential equipments included in the list should have all the devices that are adequate to meet the general obligation of the health administrator to ensure abundant availability of such medical devices and equipment in the country.”
Along with a list of essential devices, the committee also aims to produce guidelines and procedures for the National List, as well as producing measures outlining the use of medical devices in preventive care. The group is expected to submit its report, and the list, within 6 months of the date of its 1st meeting, according to LiveMint.
The move has generated some negative responses, with the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry forum coordinator Rajiv Nath saying it would be disadvantageous for the growth of the medical device industry in the country.
“The issue of affordable access to medical devices needs to be treated differently and holistically. We are against the concept of item by item coverage of specific medical devices and then trying to define them as essential so that they can have a price cap,” Nath told LiveMint.
Nath suggested that the government aid stakeholders in self regulation before it moves forward with a mandatory price cap.
In June, Indian healthcare regulators reportedly reversed course and are now asking for a quartet of medical devices to be added to a list of products under price control.