AiMeD welcomes govt’s move to cap prices of orthopaedic knee implants

While the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) has expressed its support to the government's move to control the prices of knee implants, it has also demanded smooth transition for relabelling of these medical devices


New Delhi: The Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) has welcomed the government’s move to cap prices of orthopaedic knee implants which it said was a must for ensuring no profiteering and affordable access. At the same time, the association of domestic industry players has wished smooth transition for relabelling and a systemic correction of skewed market place that currently does not allow choice of brands to consumers and a free market competition.

On 16th August, the government fixed a price range for knee implants from Rs 54,000 to Rs 1.14 lakh, nearly 70 per cent lower than most surgeries currently cost. With private hospitals reportedly charging exorbitant rates, the government capped the maximum retail price of the knee implants, a move that will save patients an estimated Rs 1,500 crore annually.

“Prices are reasonable and we are with the government. We believe this price cap will help every person of the country who needs implants.” But, said “without reduction in total procedure cost by hospitals the move may not yield the desired results.” stated Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD.

Cautioning the government, Mr Nath urged that “The government also needs to weed out unlicensed suppliers who will not  have a QMS certified facility and play its role as Regulator- there are many such unlicensed manufacturers of orthopaedic implants functioning in India but only Maharashtra FDA acted against them.”

“Some of the six Indian knee implant manufacturers found the prices ‘perfect and reasonable’, and that the caps would help patients. However, at the same time, the manufacturers are worried about the implementation of relabelling of stocks already in the market which will disrupt sales and trade and distributors ability to manage within the defined limited trade margins as they need to finance the inventory and provide customer support services on behalf of manufacturers,” he added.

Mr Nath also urged the government not to take “piecemeal approach” of fixing prices item by item, and instead should consider a holistic systemic change. He also enquired about other implants and other devices, including consumables and disposables.

“AiMeD earnestly recommends medical professionals to go for ICMED certified manufacturers and informed QCI will shortly introduce ICMED Plus product specific certification which will have compliance to not only defined standards but also define minimum qualifications of base material alloys to address apprehensions of some surgeons,” concluded the statement.