Hyderabad: Three new generation of stents Absorb, Xience and Xience Sierra have been removed from the supply chain in India, as they cannot be provided under the price cap.
The removal of these three stents is an indication of how international manufacturers are removing the latest technology from the Indian market.
Dr Sunil Kapoor, a senior cardiologist, explained, “The Absorb stent is a new generation, thin stent and is technologically far superior, but it will not be introduced in India. Similarly, the other two stents are also better versions, as there has been continuous scientific development on them. But, these latest versions are expensive and cannot be sold under the present price cap.”
Cardiologists for long have been ruing the fact, that only older generation stents and base material are dumped in India, while the new generation stents will not be available at all.
A senior cardiologist, on condition of anonymity explained, “There is constant improvement on stents as there is feedback, evaluation and also adverse reactions which are noted and studied. So, a stent which was in use a decade ago will not be in use now as there are better versions.
“But the government has come out with a limitation which has put even paying patients in a quandary. Those who can afford these stents are now opting to go to South East Asian countries. This will affect the Indian healthcare sector.”
Cardiologists state that the removal of these three stents is only the tip of the iceberg, and that other international companies will soon follow suit.
Also, patients who arrived from Africa and the Middle East will now start going to South East Asian countries, as the latest technological advances will not be available to them in this country.
Dr. M. S. S. Mukharjee, a senior cardiologist, explained, “The actual impact will only be understood after a period of two years, when the advanced technology is not available any more. This will affect the skill and up gradation process and leave doctors to deal with the side effects of basic stents. So, this is going to be a big blow to the entire heart care sector in India.”