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June 15, 2013

State Govt. provides heavy discount on the life-saving stents

State Govt. provides heavy discount on the life-saving stents
After opening fair-price shops in different state-run medical colleges and hospitals across the state, the Health Dept. has decided to sell stents, a vital device for cardiac patients, through these outlets offering a mammoth 67 % discount on the MRP of the life-saving device.
Stents are required for patients with coronary artery block, an increasingly common disease these days. The health department has decided to keep adequate stock of affordable stents in all state-run medical colleges (where angioplasty is performed) and owners of fair-price medicine shops inside these hospitals to procure stents from the SSKM medicine shop at a discounted price.
The sale started at the SSKM fair price shop and since Wednesday (June 5), the very first day, more than 10 patients were implanted these `affordable` stents so far. With the directive of the health department, the SSKM outlet has already started selling the device manufactured by an Indian company The devices are priced at Rs.19,000 and Rs. 36,000 each while the MRP is Rs. 60,000 (chromium-cobalt device) and Rs 1,10,000 (drug eluting device).Competing products in the market cost around Rs. 1.20-Rs 1.30 lakh. Private sector hospitals almost always use these products.
The Chief Minister wanted affordable stents to be stocked in other medical colleges. Poor and middle class people will benefit once they get such devices at huge discounts. The market for stents has long been a controversial one with many questioning the high prices, alleging that doctors often pocket huge commission by selling the devices.