Information put in the public domain by the NPPA reveals that the Gurugram based Fortis Hospital which was in the news for all the wrong reasons, had billed scheduled drugs which were under price control at more than the allowed margin. It has billed certain consumables at more than 1000% margin.
Fortis hospital in Gurugram was recently indicted of grave negligence, unethical & unlawful act by a Haryana government committee that was probing allegations of overcharging in the case involving a seven year old girl who died of dengue. Now the information placed in the public domain by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, has revealed that Fortis hospital billed scheduled drugs at as high as 4.4 times and some consumables at as high as 18.4 times the procurement price in the case of the girl who died of dengue.
DPCO 2013 fixes margin at 16%
The Drugs (Prices Control) Order of 2013 (DPCO) notifies certain drugs as scheduled formulations that form the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). The drugs in this schedule are supposed to be sold at a price ceiling fixed by the DPCO. The DPCO allows a retailer margin of 16% on these scheduled drugs.
Some Schedule drugs were billed at a margin of more than 300%
As per the information shared by NPPA, out of the 39 scheduled drugs used & billed by Fortis hospital which are under price control, only 3 drugs were billed at less than 16% margin while the rest were billed at more than 16% margin. One particular scheduled drug ‘Tranemic’ was billed at a margin of more than 300% compared to the procurement price.
Some Non-Scheduled drugs also billed at more than 900% margin
In the case of non-scheduled drugs which are not under any price control, 15 were billed with a margin of up to 50% while 8 were billed with a margin between 50% and 150%. There were 7 drugs that were billed at a margin of more than 300% with 4 of them billed at a margin of more than 500%. An injection ‘Dotamin’ was billed at Rs 287.5 which is 10 times more than the procurement price of Rs 28.35.
Consumables were billed at obscene margins
Further, NPPA’s information reveals that some consumables were billed at a margin of more than 1000% with one particular item billed at a margin of more than 1700%. Thirty-six (36) of the total 96 consumables used were billed at a margin of more than 500%. Thirteen (13) of them were billed at a margin of more than 1000%.
A pack of 10 bed bath towels/wipes with a procurement price of Rs 33.6 were billed at Rs 350. A disposable syringe with needle was billed at Rs 35 whose procurement price was Rs 3.21. An underpad matty was billed at Rs 1080 whose procurement price was Rs 131.13.
Featured Image: Fortis Hospital Bills