#WhatTheHealth: Fortis overcharged 7-year-old parents; earned up to 1700%-profit
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority's probe into the death of 7-year-old dengue patient, Adya Singh at Gurugram's Fortis Memorial Research Institute revealed her parents were "grossly overcharged". Fortis earned a profit ranging from 12% to a whopping 1737% on 176 items, including drugs and medical-equipment. Her father, Jayant, was billed nearly Rs. 16lakh for her dengue shock syndrome treatment in 15 days. Here's more.
Tactics adopted by hospitals: An NPPA official
An official said: "These are tactics adopted by hospitals in collusion with pharma companies to earn profit. Companies put exorbitant prices on MRP, but sell in bulk at highly-discounted rates to hospitals. Hospitals stand to earn huge profit margins by charging at MRP to patients."
Profit margins, procurement prices of items sold to Adya's family
Earning 1737% profit, Fortis billed a three-way stop cock bi-valve at Rs. 106; its procurement-price was Rs. 5.77. A ventilator-circuit procured at Rs. 46,614 was billed at Rs. 66,305 (42% profit). It billed dialysis contraptions like a CRRT-kit at Rs. 21,745; procurement-price was Rs. 8,033 (171%). Surgical-gloves procured at Rs. 12/each were sold at Rs. 49 (298% profit) and Rs 65 (428% profit).
Drugs sold at up to 914% profit
NPPA found that drugs like injection Dotamin, which Fortis procured at Rs. 28.35, was sold at Rs. 287.50, making a 914% profit. Even Tamin, a simple paracetamol injection, was billed at Rs. 310, earning a 754% profit; fortis bought Tamin at Rs. 36.29. Of the 176 items, Fortis sold, 39 fall under Drug Price Control Order, meaning pharma-companies can't fix MRP above NPPA-fixed ceiling.
NPPA shall take necessary follow up action
NPPA Deputy Director Anand Prakash said, "NPPA shall be taking necessary follow up action as per existing law and within its jurisdiction." The national pharma-pricing regulator earlier sought all the copies of bills/invoices, names of medicines administered to Adya, quantities, prices, etc. from Fortis.