Once again, Society for Awareness of Civil Rights NGO have demanded that around 4,500 medical equipments should be added to National List of Essential Medicines. It was followed by the demand made by the state Food and Drugs Administration to Department of Pharmaceuticals requesting them to add catheters to National List of Essential Medicines to cap their prices.

The FDA investigation revealed that the hospitals, distributors, manufacturers and importers of balloon and guiding catheters earn exorbitant profits by forging price tags. And so FDA officials wrote to Department of Pharmaceuticals to add catheters and cap the prices. Catheters are medical devices which are used in angioplasties. The maximum retail price of balloon catheters ranges from Rs 20,000 to Rs 28,000 and guiding catheters cost between Rs5,000 and Rs10,500.

“Not only catheters or lens, but all 4,500 medical equipments should be included to the National List of Essential Medicines to cap the prices,” said RP Yajurvedi Rao, president of Society for Awareness who wrote to PM Narendra Modi demanding the same.

“In 2016, with the ongoing demand of adding medical equipments to National List of Essential Medicines, the central government made changes in drug and cosmetics act in 2016 by bringing in the medical equipments in the medicines category but there was no implementation done. This should be implemented as soon as possible,” said Umesh Khake, social activist.

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