More Price Caps on Medical Products in India

On December 21, 2017, a member of parliament wrote to Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, urging him to cap the prices of 20 medical devices. It was the latest sign of rising political pressure in India to make healthcare more affordable. Earlier in 2017, the Indian government capped the price of knee implants and cardiac stents. A lobby group of domestic manufacturers decided in December 2017 to voluntarily reduce the price of Indian syringe and needle brands by over 50 percent. The prices of these products are currently marked up 3-5 times by chemists and up to 10 times by hospitals, according to the president of the AISNMA lobbying group. Recent official data suggest that price caps on medical devices have deterred foreign investment in India’s healthcare sector. Foreign direct investment in the Indian medical technology sector stood at $173 million in the first nine months of 2017—a decline of 59% from a year earlier.