‘Price cut ups use of drug-eluting stents’ - (The Economic Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • New research findings published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions indicate that the use of drug-eluting stents (DES) among poor cardiac patients in India jumped to 70 percent from 40 percent after these became cheaper, as reported in The Economic Times.

  • Until 2013, almost 60 percent of patients received bare metal stents, which cost one-fifth of DES, but are not as effective in preventing reappearance of blockages in arteries, the news source said.

  • The Indian state of Maharashtra took up price control strategies in 2014 after it introduced free health insurance for families that earn less than Rs 1 lakh per annum. It invited tenders from various companies for DES and managed to get the latest generation stents for around Rs 30 000 from 2014-2015.

  • Co-author Bhanu Duggal said "by the price-lowering strategy, millions of people of lower socio-economic strata suddenly had access to the best drug-eluting stents."

  • The increase was seen in both public and private hospitals, with almost 96.2 percent of patients in public hospitals and 65.2 percent in private hospitals getting DES.

  • However, the study found that the use of DES continued to be lower despite the price reduction in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, and the poorly educated.

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