Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) is reportedly still considering a market withdrawal in India for its Synergy adsorbable polymer stent, after repeated attempts to lift a government-imposed price cap were rebuffed by regulators there.
Representatives from the Marlborough, Mass.-based medical device giant met yesterday with National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority officials to discuss pulling Synergy from India, according to LiveMint. The NPPA last week said no changes to the price caps would be considered until February 2018, a year after the caps went into effect, according to the website, which cited a ” person privy to the development.”
““The company is yet to file a withdrawal application before the NPPA but they had long discussion with the price regulator. The NPPA has asked the company to reconsider their decision of withdrawal,” another source cited as “aware of the matter” told the site.
The Indian government in May rejected the company’s request to increase the cap on Synergy, with an NPPA panel ruling that there was “no major innovation” involved in the stent to warrant the higher price.
The cap has caused other major medtech players to seek to withdraw their high-end stents from India. In April, the NPPA rejected applications from Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Abbott (NYSE:ABT) to pull their respective Resolute Onyx and Absorb stents (Abbott has since taken Absorb off the global market, citing lackluster sales.
For its part, Boston Scientific, which has said that price caps could lead to losses of at least $7 million for the year, asked the NPPA to raise the cap on Synergy from approximately $450 (INR ₹29,600) to $1,160 (INR ₹48,877), arguing that the Indian government had ignored the “exhaustive and persuasive” data which showed Synergy’s superiority.
Before the price cap was set, Boston Scientific charged $3,000 (INR ₹195,000) for the Synergy stent in the region, making the cap an effective 85% price cut.