Patiala MP urges PM to resist US trade pressure on medical devices

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Patiala MP urges PM to resist US trade pressure on medical devices PATIALA: Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, member of Parliament from Patiala, in his letter to Prime Minister Narender Modi has urged him to resist pressure from the US to impose price controls on all the remaining medical devices notified as medicines under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act and Rules; and let the Competition Commission of India to carry out an investigation into the anti-competitive practices of the medical device industry.

Decrying a decision by United States Trade Representative to review the eligibility of India’s enjoyment of preferential tariffs on exports to the US under GSP, Dr Gandhi termed this as a pressure tactic of US dairy industry and US medical device industry. Such a move shall tantamount to one overall review of India’s compliance with the GSP market access criterion, he said.

While appreciating the decision of the Modi government to bring price control on cardiovascular stents and knee implants, which has resulted in some degree of relief to patients and their families, Dr Dharamvira demanded similar control over many other life saving and essential medical devices, which are still outside the price control such as syringes, IV cannulas. Hospitals are charging very high margins to the tune of 1700 % from patients, he said.

Gandhi asserted that nearly 83% of the people depend on private sector hospitals and price controls along with ceiling on margins is the only mechanism to ensure access to medicines and medical devices at the affordable price.

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