Move To Cap Knee Implant Prices Draws Flak From Health Tech Bodies

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New Delhi: As the government capped prices for knee implants to make it affordable, medical technology associations on Friday said the government move can block innovations and limit access to world class medical care and options to patients.

“While the government’s intent is to cap prices in patient’s interest and make healthcare affordable for all, this pricing has the potential to block innovations and limit access to world class medical care and options to patients,” said Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) in a statement.

According to it, the move for a price ceiling on knee implants would have huge impact on the launch of and access to next generation/innovative implants that are of standard quality in India.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on August 16 had fixed the price for primary knee replacement of titanium alloy at Rs. 38,740, while the price for revision knee replacement of any material was pegged at Rs. 62,770.

The price for Hi-Flex primary knee replacement was fixed at Rs. 25,860 and that of cobalt chromium alloy at Rs. 24,090.

“The price ceiling will also negatively impact the future environment for investment and FDI inflow in the country. It is critical to evaluate the long-term negative impact of such decisions on patient outcomes, consequent increase in adverse events, and subsequent rise in long term healthcare costs, which defeats the entire purpose and spirit in which this price control exercise has been undertaken in the first place,” said AdvaMed.

Another body, Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI), also criticised the government move, saying patient access measures should be collaborative and consultative, based on mutual trust and respect, and involve all stakeholders.

“This will allow us to take decisions which really ensure enduring benefits for the patient. This is something we have appealed to the authorities time and again, but unfortunately in vain,” said MTaI in a statement.

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