News » Top Stories » US pushing India not to cut down prices of medical devices, and to permit withdrawals

US pushing India not to cut down prices of medical devices, and to permit withdrawals

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The prices of medical devices, for instance, knee implants and heart stents have plummeted by about 75 percent after the Modi government reduced prices to make the devices accessible to more people.

In the wake of ongoing policies in India, the US is trying to convince India not to slash the prices of medical devices, Reuters reported. A US trade official also confirmed that it is also trying to press the Indian government to allow companies to withdraw their products from the market if they do not want to sell at the government set prices.

The prices of medical devices, for instance, knee implants and heart stents have plummeted by about 75 percent after the Modi government reduced prices to make the devices cheaper.

However, major US companies like Boston Scientific Corp, Abbott Laboratories, and Johnson & Johnson have criticized the move. They have contended that such developments would be detrimental to the innovation and investments from these companies.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) official told Reuters that they have been dissuading India not to extend the price cuts to other medical devices.

Last month, India stopped the companies to withdraw their products from the markets fearing a shortage for the patients, after it announced the price cut. Reportedly, Abbott wants to withdraw one of its stents as it says that it is no longer feasible to sell the product at the government determined price. But, the government has refused to accept its request.

Requesting anonymity, the official told the news agency, “It is a principal concern for the United States.”

The Modi government has said earlier that his government would give priority to affordable health care than the interest of the medical device companies. In the Indian government views that these companies are making unreasonable profits in some medical devices. Terming it as “illegal profiteering”, there are instances where the companies profit by more than 400 percent.

Assistant USTR Mark Linscott and his delegation, who were visiting India last month, also shared their concerns to Indian officials in New Delhi.

 


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