Will not allow knee implants costs to rise beyond 10% in a year: Govt

Recently the government said the ceiling price of orthopaedic knee implants will be monitored to ensure that the cost does not increase beyond 10 per cent in a given year.

Though the industry has requested for a 20 per cent (10 per cent for the year 2018 and 10 per cent for the year 2019) increase in the price of knee implants, it was decided to further monitor the price increase of knee implants as per para 20 of the DPCO, 2013 that restricts price increase beyond 10 per cent in a given year. This shall be subject to a review after one year, a statement issued by Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry said.

The NPPA notified the ceiling price of orthopaedic knee implants on 16th August, 2017 by invoking extraordinary powers, in public interest, under Para 19 of Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013, for a period of one year. Subsequently, vide notification dated 13th August, 2018, the applicability of ceiling prices fixed for orthopaedic knee implants was extended for another one year, up to 15th August, 2019.

Accordingly, the cost of knee implants was reduced significantly, upto 69 per cent, resulting in a notional saving of Rs.1,500 crore per annum to the consumers.

The NPPA, in its meeting held on 8th Aug, 2019, reviewed the matter. It was noted that there has been an increased access due to knee implants becoming affordable. As per the data submitted by manufacturers and importers, an increase of 30 per cent in the sales of knee implants has been reported during the period of July, 2018 to June, 2019.

The knee implant is a non-scheduled medical device or drug for which DPCO, 2013 allows an annual increase upto 10 per cent of MRP. However, this was not permitted in 2018.
Commenting on this announcement, Medical Technology Association of India’s (MTaI) Chairman and Director General Pavan Choudary said, “We were seeking a 20 per cent increase in selling price of knee implants to make up for two years of price control combined with continuing pressures of rupee devaluation and inflation. Having said that, it is reassuring that the government has begun to acknowledge the financial pressures on medical device companies and has decided to give a partial relief by letting companies increase the price by 10 per cent in next one year, as per Para 20 of DPCO, 2013. As we move ahead, we will continue to engage with the government for a long-term solution.”