An Affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) Recipient of Noble Peace Prize, 1985

Doctors challenge corporate hospitals’ claims of better quality imported stents

February 26, 2017
The Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) has questioned the claims of the corporate hospitals that the imported stents were in anyway better than the ones manufactured in India. The corporate hospitals seem to have formed a grand alliance to subvert the revolutionary decision of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to cap the prices of life saving stents as it will hit their profits which were absolutely unethical and criminal and was doing medical corruption said Dr G S Grewal – Former President Punjab Medical Council and Dr Arun Mitra - Former Chairman Ethical Committee PMC & Senior Vice President IDPD, both members of the core committee of the ADEH.
It was after a long drawn struggle that such an order has come into force. Advocate Birender Sangwan had filed a PIL in the court that the hospitals have been charging exorbitantly, sometimes over 1000% on the price of the stents. The Hon’ble court passed an order in 2015 asking the government to cap their prices. But the government not only slept over this but even thought of dissolving the NPPA. Thereafter an appeal was filed in the court for action against the government for not complying with the order. As a result of this to avoid the contempt notice by the court the government asked the NPPA to cap the prices before 1st March 2017.
Dr Grewal & Dr Arun Mitra said, there was no scientific evidence or paper presented anywhere which proves the claims that the imported stents were better than those manufactured in India. The “bogey of imported stents” was being created by the corporate hospitals and some cardiologists only to mislead, misguide and confuse the common people and the government in the country. He said, the corporate hospitals, which were running the medical profession for purely commercial interests were trying to subvert this decision. It is pertinent to note here that the Indian stents have got approval from the US FDA which means that they are at par with other stents and can be sold even in the USA. A Delhi based leading Cardiologist was called by the US FDA in March 2016 to present his experience of using Indian stents. It was only after this that the stent was approved by US FDA. The issue of newer high end stents being raised by some cardiologists and corporate hospitals is only to scuttle the price capping. The clause no. 15 of the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) clearly states that any manufacturer should apply about the new product with evidence for its superiority to fix the ceiling price. More over the capping has not affected the companies but the profit margin of the parties involved in the supply chain.
The ADEH said, the doctors across the country had welcomed the NPPA decision. “Only the select few for whom the profits matter more than the affordable healthcare for the common masses, are crying wolf without any reason or scientific evidence”. They also expressed shock at that the premier body of doctors, the IMA has not come out with open stand on this issue. The statements by its national president Dr K K Aggarwal on a news channel few days back were in total favour of corporate sector. He totally forgot the medical ethics which state that for a doctor the patients care is the only priority.
Dr Grewal & Dr Arun Mitra appealed to the Prime Minister to ensure that the decision is implemented without any obstacles by such people and the compliance is ensured. “If the foreign companies are refusing to supply the stents to Indian hospital, we should give full boost and support to our own companies to increase their production they said.

Dr Arun Mitra