The Competition Commission Of India To Probe Unfair Pricing Ways Of Super-specialty Hospitals In Delhi

The Competition Commission of India will probe super-specialty hospitals in New Delhi for possible unfair pricing in services and products provided to their patients. After finding that “huge profit margins” are being earned by super-specialty hospitals through “sale of products to the locked-in in-patients”, the fair trade regulator has decided to widen the scope of the investigation.

The Commission has directed the DG to complete investigation expeditiously. The regulator observed from the DG’s report that there is a reference to Max’s alleged conduct as being akin to “aftermarket abuse”. However, it has not investigated the same in “greater detail”.

Also, with a view to earning more profit, Max had shifted its procurement or purchase from flow wrap syringes to blister pack syringes during 2015-16. It added that it has also been found by the DG that the hospital had been compelling its in-patients to purchase products only from its in-house pharmacy once they are admitted.

The CCI said that the investigation may especially focus on the products sold by the super-specialty hospitals to their in-patients, which are not required on an urgent basis for any medical procedure or intervention or which do not involve any high degree of the quality issue from the medical procedure point of view.

The probe can also focus on the products for the purchase of which, the patients have the time and scope to exercise their rational choice to avail them from open market as well as where such products may be available at lower rates, it said. According to the order, the relevant market definition as provided in the DG’s investigation report “may be revisited”.

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