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40 hospitals warned over not displaying revised knee implant prices on websites

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-08-2017 Teena Thacker

New Delhi: Drug pricing regulator National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) warned hospitals of action for not displaying revised prices of orthopaedic implants on their websites.

The NPPA named 40 hospitals, including Medanta-the Medicity and Artemis Hospital in Gurugram; Moolchand Medcity and Apollo Spectra Hospital, Delhi; Columbia Asia Hospital, Bengaluru; and Rockland Hospitals, PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai among those not adhering to the rules.

While the NPPA tweeted that it had sent notices to the hospitals, it did not specify the action that it would take against them. “We will soon issue a memorandum to these hospitals,” Bhupendra Singh, chairman of NPPA, said.

Under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, the NPPA can impose a penalty on the hospitals, a senior official said on request anonymity.

Medanta Medicity did not respond to queries from Mint. A spokesperson for Apollo Spectra said, “We have corrected the cost details on the website.”

After finding huge trade margins in orthopaedic knee implants, the NPPA recently capped the prices, reducing the prices by as much as 69%.

While the price regulator has not received any complaints so far on overcharging or non-availability of knee replacement, the 40 hospitals it named were identified for not displaying prices on their websites.

After NPPA’s notification on capping prices of knee implants, the most widely used complete knee implant (cobalt chromium) has now started to cost Rs54,720, excluding the goods and services tax (GST), against Rs1.58 lakh earlier.

Prices of special metals that are used in treatment, such as titanium and oxidised zirconium, have also been capped at Rs76,600 from Rs2.49 lakh earlier. Additionally, the NPPA also slashed the prices for patients requiring a second surgery to Rs1.13 lakh as against Rs2.76 lakh earlier.

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