J&J, Stryker, Zimmer in line as India eyes price caps on orthopedic implants

India may soon make scuttlebutt on medical device price controls a reality, starting with orthopedic implants, the Times of India reports, as the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) asks Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Zimmer ($ZMH) and Stryker ($SYK) to submit details of production and pricing of their products, including those for knee and hip.

The NPPA reportedly sent out the notices on June 17.

India's concern, according to the Times of India, is the pace of price increases for items like cardiac stents and implants that are imported, and as it works to push an effort to get local manufacturing in place for a broad range of medical items.

The government would like increases at less than 10% annually, the newspaper said.

Hip and knee implants in India cost INR50,000 ($787) to INR90,000 on average, depending on the type of implant used, the Times of India said.

In another development, the Times of India said the NPPA has asked 19 drug companies to register for an online database, seen as a prerequisite for price setting. The companies include Wockhardt, IPCA Labs, British Biological, Danone, Dabur India, Indoco Remedies and Alkem Laboratories, the Times of India said.

Earlier this month, reports noted that a Draft National Medical Device Policy was on the cards that would create a National Medical Devices Authority that could monitor and set prices in line with India's Essential Commodities Act--originally aimed at preventing middlemen from hoarding food.

This would be in addition to the power of the NPPA, the Times of India said, noting that a new layer of bureaucracy would be needed.

- here's the story from Times of India

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