United States pressing India to extend price caps on medical devices

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a chemist shop at a market in Mumbai, India, June 25, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo
Vastavam web: The United States is pressing India not to extend price caps on medical devices and wants New Delhi to allow firms to withdraw products from the market if they do not wish to sell at government determined rates, a U.S. trade official told.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has in recent months slashed prices of medical devices such as knee implants and heart stents by up to 75 percent to make them more affordable.
A senior United States Trade Representative (USTR) official said they were pressing India to not extend price caps to other devices, allow for higher pricing for technologically advanced equipment and let companies withdraw their products if they wish to.India’s trade ministry, which co-chairs such discussions under the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum did not respond to a request for comment. The federal drug pricing regulator referred questions to the department of pharmaceutical, which did not respond to queries.
Modi, however, has previously said that providing affordable healthcare to patients takes precedence over the interests of companies.The United States has been increasing pressure on India to revise its stance on price caps for medical devices. A person familiar with the matter said assistant USTR Mark Linscott and his delegation last month conveyed their concerns to Indian trade officials in New Delhi.In May, a group of U.S. Congress members urged India to reconsider its decision to cap prices of stents, which are tiny wire mesh tubes used to treat blocked arteries.