WASHINGTON — American companies producing medical devices and health information systems have approached the U.S. Trade Representative against India's move to implement price controls on coronary stents and knee replacement implants that they say deny them equitable market access.
In a petition, Advanced Medical Technology Association president and chief executive officer Scott Whitaker requested the USTR to "suspend or withdraw" India's benefits under Generalized System of Preferences.
“AdvaMed and its members are deeply concerned about recently implemented price controls on coronary stents and knee replacement implants in India that have slashed prices by as much as 85 percent and 70 percent, respectively, followed by signals that price caps for additional life-saving and life-improving medical devices may be forthcoming,” Scott said.
Scott said that their intention was not for India to lose the benefits of GSP, but rather to advance engagement and meaningful discussions on restoring market access for medtech in India while keeping patients’ interests at the center of all discussions.
Scott alleged that India's focus on controlling prices of high-quality medical devices, without any attempt to address the larger picture and correct inefficiencies in the healthcare system, would not achieve its intended benefits.
Recent reports indicate that the lowering of prices on medical devices – which are only one component of overall procedure costs – are not being passed along to patients.
Price controls may also block innovations and limit patient access to the best available care, he said.
Scott warned that failure to implement a mutually acceptable alternative could deter global organizations from making their latest products available to India’s healthcare providers and patients make Indian innovators less competitive in global markets, negatively impact future investment in India and ultimately harm patients.
“We believe a stable and predictable market environment is key to driving investments in R&D, manufacturing and other services to grow the medical technology industry in India, and meet the current and future needs of all of India's people,” he said.