February 25, 2017 5:20:39 pm
No action will be taken against hospitals under the scanner for overcharging on stents if they refund the money to patients before receiving a demand notice, drug price regulator NPPA said. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said the matter would end there for such hospitals if there were no further complaints. “If the hospitals under the scanner refund money to patients before NPPA issues ‘demand notice’, matter ends till there is no new complaint,” the regulator tweeted. Explaining that a ‘show cause notice’ (SCN) is issued for seeking the explanation of the hospital/company, it added that a ‘Demand Notice’ (DN) is issued when a violation is proved. The regulator also said “it would ensure complete audit of their angioplasty bills in the near future” but did not share details citing “request of patients who have got refunds and their concerns of follow up need in the same hospitals”.
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The NPPA had said yesterday its helpline has received complaints against Oxygen Hospital in Rohtak, Haryana and Bharat Heart Institute, Dehradun, Uttarakhand for overcharging on stents.
The regulator had earlier issued show cause notices to Max Hospital, Saket, New Delhi and Nidaan Multispeciality Hospital, Sonepat, Haryana.
It had also said it was investigating overpricing complaints against hospitals such as Lilavati Hospital (Mumbai), Max Saket (New Delhi), Metro Hospital (Faridabad), PGI Chandigarh, Ram Murti Hospital (Bareilly), and has alerted the concerned State Drug Controllers.
However, Max Healthcare and Lilavati Hospital have said they are in compliance with NPPA guidelines and have not overcharged patients for stents. In a major relief to patients, the NPPA last week slashed prices of coronary stents by up to 85 per cent, capping them at Rs 7,260 for bare metal ones and Rs 29,600 for the drug eluting variety.
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