In a recent report to India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that IOLs are priced at least 200 percent to 300 percent higher than the purchase cost, The Hindu reported.
"We surveyed several hospitals which offered these surgeries and realised that the gap between the cost to the hospital and the cost to the patient is tremendous," an FDA official said, adding "this is mainly due to non-regulation on prices." As an example, the official cited Novartis unit Alcon's Acrysof IOL, which has an import price of 2737 Indian rupees ($42.50) and a price to retailer of 6500 rupees ($101) , while the maximum retail price (MRP) is 18 500 rupees ($287.5).
Further, the official suggested that like coronary stents, which underwent capped prices in February, reducing fees for the devices by up to 85 percent, the IOL prices should be regulated by bringing them under the essential list of medicines.
In March, the NPPA met with IOL manufacturers and were subsequently expected to meet with orthopaedic implant makers to discuss bringing their devices under price control. The following month, the regulator said that it was gathering data on 23 devices, including IOLs, which would be treated as non-scheduled drugs and allowed a 10-percent increase annually.