PSA View – In India, doctors, hospitals and retailers have been making a lot of money by prescribing expensive stents or branded medicines to vulnerable patients. A stent with an ex-factory cost of Rs 30,000 is sold at Rs 40,000 or Rs 45,000 by a distributor to a hospital or doctor, after including marketing and supply chain margins. However, the patient pays around Rs 1,00,000 for the same stent to the hospital. Medical devices are covered under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act but there is no law governing their prices. The health care sector is also perceived to lack enough checks and balances against corruption and malpractices by doctors, retailers and distributors. Sources in various government departments say private hospitals often bribe individual practitioners to refer patients for knee transplants, heart surgeries, etc. With New Policy, we hope the menace is curbed.
Mansi Airi Gambhir