Mains Paper 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
The following things are important from UPSC perspective:
Prelims: Not much
Mains level: This article is important for mains as it talks about the recent move of the American companies to approach USTR against the India’s move of price control of various medical devices and how this move will affect India’s medical technology industry and ultimately harm patients.
Recent reports indicate that the lowering of prices on medical devices which are only one component of overall procedure costs are not being passed along to patients.
Why have American companies approached USTR?
- American companies producing medical devices and health information systems have approached the US Trade Representative against India’s move to implement price controls on coronary stents and knee replacement implants that they say denying them equitable market access.
- In a petition, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) requested the US Trade Representative (USTR) to suspend or withdraw India’s benefits under Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
- They are deeply concerned about recently implemented price controls on coronary stents and knee replacement implants in India that have slashed prices by as much as 85 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively, followed by signals that price caps for additional life-saving and life-improving medical devices may be forthcoming.
- The intention of the American companies was not for India to lose the benefits of GSP, but rather to advance engagement and meaningful discussions on restoring market access for medtech in India while keeping patients’ interests at the center of all discussions.
Impact of price control by India on various medical devices
- Recent reports indicate that the lowering of prices on medical devices which are only one component of overall procedure costs are not being passed along to patients, which needs to be corrected.
- Price controls may also block innovations and limit patient access to the best available care.
- The failure to implement a mutually acceptable alternative could deter global organisations from making their latest products available to India’s health care providers and patients, make Indian innovators less competitive in global markets, negatively impact future investment in India, and ultimately harm patients.
What does India need to do ?
- India’s focus on controlling prices of high-quality medical devices, without any attempt to address the larger picture and correct inefficiencies
- A stable and predictable market environment is key to driving investments in R&D, manufacturing, and other services to grow the medical technology industry in India, and meet the current and future needs of all of India’s people.