The Times of India

New Delhi, Nov 20 – Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) Tuesday asked the government to allow a one-time increase of up to 18 per cent in maximum retail prices (MRPs) of medical devices, including stents and orthopedic knee implants, in order to offset the impact of rupee depreciation and inflation.

MTaI, which represents leading research-based medical technology companies with significant investments in manufacturing in India, said the rupee has depreciated 13.13 per cent against the US dollar and 12.33 per cent against the euro in the last one year.

Besides, wholesale price inflation has hovered between 4 per cent and 5 per cent during this period, it added.

The government had fixed price ceiling for stents and knee implants in 2017 based on landed cost of these devices in India. The rupee depreciation has increased the landed cost by around 14 per cent, the industry body said.

“The dual effect of weakening of currency and inflationary trends is creating an extra-ordinary situation and the medical device companies are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the supply of medical devices in the present situation,” MTaI Chairman and Director General Pavan Choudary said in a statement.

Long term cross subsidisation to keep the supplies is not healthy for the growing medtech sector, he added.

“The present situation calls for an increase in our net realised prices,” Choudary noted.

The current regulatory framework in the country mandates price ceiling for scheduled devices like stents and orthopedic knee implants and allows only up to 10 per cent increase in MRPs of regulated non-scheduled devices like catheters and heart valves.

Para 19 of Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013 allows the government to fix prices of drugs under extra-ordinary circumstances.

It would also ensure the continued availability of medical devices and investments in capacity building in this sector, which is crucial for the success of Ayushman Bharat (PMJAY), he added.