A recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) survey has found that the MRPs of stents are inflated by a staggering 300 to 700%, as distributors, doctors and hospitals enjoy the ballooning profit margins.
A stent is a tube or other device placed in the body to create a passage between two hollow spaces.
Even though this device comes under the purview of the Drug and Cosmetics Act, the FDA, however, has little power to rectify the situation.
In the light of the findings, they have written to the regulator, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), to bring stents under essential medicines. Earlier attempts to do so have met with little success.
A senior administrator from a leading south Mumbai hospital told TOI that the rot runs much deeper. "What the survey has missed out is the involvement of cardiologists in the entire chain.
Most senior cardiologists have more say than hospital managements when it comes to buying stents from vendors. Any attempt to break the nexus often leads to friction between the doctor and the hospital management. The practice also extends to orthopedic implants, ocular lenses and several other devices," he said.