An investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has revealed that Max Super Specialty, Patparganj has made “unfair” and “excessive” profits on the sale of disposable syringes to patients admitted in its hospital. The CCI is expected to hold next hearing on this issue on December 20.
CCI in 2015 had ordered a probe into allegations that the hospital had colluded with multinational syringe maker Becton Dickinson to sell a particular brand of disposable syringes for nearly twice its open market price.
Mr. Vijay Sharma (complainant and a Delhi-based lawyer) claimed that he purchased Becton Dickinson India's disposable syringe brand from Max Patparganj's in-house pharmacy for INR 19.50, which was available only at INR 10 at a medical store outside the hospital.
The investigation has found that the syringe purchased from Max hospital is not identical to the one purchased from outside the hospital. According to the report, the products belong to two different categories of syringes manufactured by Becton Dickinson—'flow wrap' syringes and 'blister pack' syringes, which carry different prices.
The investigation noted that it appears that Max shifted to higher MRP blister pack syringes from flow wrap syringes to be to earn higher profit margins. The huge margins charged by the hospital was not reasonable or for the benefit of the patients, according to the report.
The report also revealed that a patient admitted as an "in-patient" to Max Super Specialty in Patparganj had no option but to use the hospital's pharmacy to procure all drugs and devices. This makes the patient "wholly dependent" on the pharmacy's services, it observed, which is clearly an instance of abuse of the dominant position enjoyed by Max Hospital in the relevant market as it is in a position of spatial monopoly," the report concluded. The CCI is presently enquiring into the matter and has forwarded the copy of the report with preliminary findings of the DG to the parties for their comments.
For more information, please see http://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/772015.pdf