The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has finally decided to bring coronary stents, tube-shaped medical devices used to open blocked arteries and restore normal blood flow to heart muscles, under a controlled price regime, The Express Tribune learnt on Tuesday.
“Though hardly any country, except the Indian government’s proposal, is regulating prices of such medical devices, the authority has principally decided to regulate the prices of stents after the current ‘stent scam’. The DRAP is preparing draft and deliberations are underway. Soon the authority will start regulating prices of stents and other medical equipment,” he maintained.
Responding to a question, he pointed out that there was a penalty of 10-year imprisonment on the sale of unregistered drugs and medical equipment and added still such equipment was being sold in the local market. He disclosed that after the current stent scam and raids by various agencies, medical equipment suppliers had started registering their products with DRAP. The authority had already registered 55 American, European and Chinese stent products.
Pakistan Society of Interventional Cardiology (PSIC) President-elect Dr Bashir Hanif said more cases of unregistered stents were being reported in Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and other cities.
He pointed out that the purpose of registering stents and other medical equipment was only to mint money as no regulator in the country had the capacity to inspect or examine the quality of stents and other medical equipment.
However, he supported the proposal of introducing a control price regime for stents and medical equipment.
Adnan, Imran. DRAP to introduce price control regime for stents. The Express Tribune, February 1, 2017.