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Affordable healthcare, an integral component that ensures the development of a nation holistically, is becoming a reality due to the efforts of the Narendra Modi Government. In a welcome and much needed change, the Government has slashed the prices of knee implants by between 59% and 69% using a special provision in the drug pricing law that allows it to make amends in “extraordinary circumstances” for the welfare of citizens. The new pricing will benefit over three crore arthritis patients in India and make a remarkable difference to their lives.
Recently the Government had also slashed the prices for coronary stents making treatment for heart patients affordable and possible.
The price range for knee implants has been brought down from Rs 1.14 lakh to Rs 54,000 which is approximately 70% lower than the surgery’s current cost.
In a country where nearly 1.5 crore patients require knee surgery and where 1.2 lakh to 1.5 lakh knee surgeries take place annually, this move will make a drastic difference to the lives of knee patients. For cancer and tumour patients, in the case of specialized implants, the prices have been reduced from Rs 4 – 9 lakhs to Rs. 1,13,950.
In early August, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority had said the average trade margin on orthopaedic knee implants were found to be a whopping 313 per cent, and it was imperative to bring down the price of knee implants. The decision was re-affirmed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech.
The price of the most widely used knee implant, the Cobalt-Chromium implant has been fixed at Rs 54,720 plus GST, which is a reduction of 65 per cent from the earlier average price of Rs 1,58,324. This kind of knee implant makes for around 80 per cent market share.
The new price of special metal titanium and oxidised zirconium has been fixed at Rs 76,600 plus GST, down 69 per cent from an average rate of Rs 2,49,251 earlier. High flexibility implant will now cost Rs 56,490 plus GST, down 69 per cent from average MRP of Rs 1,81,728 earlier.
The MRP of the implants have been decided in accordance to the landed cost and also ensures comfortable margins for the industry. This effort of the Government is one among the many steps taken to ensure affordable and reliable healthcare to all sections of the society.