Knee implants prices capped- benefit to patients by Dr. Gaurav Bhardwaj, Chief Knee & Hip Replacement & Arthroscopy Surgery, PSRI Hospital, New Delhi
An interesting news in today newspapers about government of India through National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority capping the prices of knee implants. As had been done in cases of cardiac stents there had been reports of profiteering in the implants and panel had been working to streamline the process. Since last evening, when this news came in I received numerous calls from orthopaedic colleagues and patients about likely impact of this announcement.
By reducing the cost of the implants, the treatment of painful arthritis will be cheaper and affordable. It should encourage people to go ahead and get rid of their painful arthritic knees which they were carrying on for long. Health services have to be affordable and in universal reach for them to be meaningful.
As a knee surgeon, I am very happy for my patient as cost should come down. It should also install trust in medical care as the fear of profiteering in the medical implants is being eliminated. This will help in restoring the patient doctor relationship of trust, which is under severe strain nowadays. Patient will feel reassured they are not fleeced on knee replacement implant costing.
But as had been seen in cases of cardiac stent I don’t want new prices to be deterrent for Implant companies to bring their latest implants in Indian markets. We cannot be in a situation where we are deprived of the best of the implants as company finds them economically unviable. For that the prices which are fixed yesterday will be reviewed periodically and a robust mechanism should be there to ensure our patients are not denied world class quality implants.
To conclude this is a very positive step, with the noble intention of keeping patients wellbeing supreme. But this is not one-time action and a constant review is important to keep pace with time and ever changing medical technology.