The US government is pressuring India to halt the extension of price caps on medical devices and to allow businesses to withdraw their products from the market if they don’t want to sell at those rates, according to a report from The Hindu.
The push came from a senior US Trade Representative, according to the report, after the country has taken steps to limit the prices on stents, orthopedic knee implant devices and is considering further caps for other medical devices.
“It is a principal concern for the United States,” the anonymous representative said, according to the report.
India’s trade ministry has not yet responded with an official comment, The Hindu reports, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that providing affordable healthcare to patients takes precedence over corporate interests.
India’s government has equated high margins on medical devices with “illegal profiteering,” claiming that the margins can exceed 400%.
“Indian government should retain a pro-public health stance on pricing medical devices to ensure access to affordable healthcare,” New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation associate fellow Tanoubi Ngangom said, according to The Hindu.
The US has applied pressure to India to consider removing the caps in the past, according to the report. In May, a group of US Congress members urged them to reconsider stent caps.
Late last month, India’s NPPA told Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) it has to choose between either seeking to withdraw its premium coronary stents from the market or seeking a higher price for them after the Authority received applications for both options.
Earlier in September, the NPPA said it won’t be revising its cap on coronary stents, applied earlier this year, until Feb. 2018.