Indian regulators reportedly said yesterday that it won’t force makers of drug-eluting stents to stay on the market there under its new price caps.
Earlier this month India’s National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority cut the prices on drug-eluting stents yet again, by about 7.6% from approximately $469.60 (₹30,180) to $433.82 (₹27,890). Those new price caps came as a surprise, as discussions earlier this month indicated NPPA’s willingness to revisit them, with many assuming the caps would increase.
The NPPA capped prices for drug-eluting stents and bioresorbable scaffolds a year ago, slashing the prices for all coronary stents by as much as 85%. In early February this year Indian medical device makers and trade associations voiced their opposition to price caps on stents and other devices. Past caps prompted U.S. stent makers such as Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) to threaten or outright seek to leave the Indian market.
Those requests were rejected, but yesterday the NPPA said it won’t stop manufacturers from taking their stents off the shelves in India, according to The Times of India – so long as they provide the mandatory six-month notice and stay under the cap in the meantime.
“In this connection, it is informed that NPPA has in-principle decided not to disallow any application submitted for withdrawal of stents from the market by stent manufacturer/importers,” according to an NPPA memo cited by the newspaper.