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Fortis marked meds up to 1,737 percent for dying dengue patient

Fortis marked meds up to 1,737 percent for dying dengue patient
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The Fortis Hospital in Gurugram, while treating a seven-year-old dengue patient who died, dispensed a bill of Rs 15 lakh. How was this absurd figure arrived at? According to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), medicines were over-charged to unbelievable levels. For example, a three way stop cock, BI Valve (GS-3040, Romsons GS-3040 pack of one (purchased by the hospital for Rs 5.77 was marked up to Rs 106.00 for the patient, an astronomical climb of 1,737 percent).

This is the highest mark-up, but in general 1,000 percent mark-ups have been reported in many cases (see below for list), as per an RTI reply. The lowest is 5 percent.

The original complaint from the parents of the girl who died was about the inordinate number of syringes and gloves used. Little did they know that the entire process followed by Fortis Memorial Research Institute was so blatantly biased against the patient party that it was no more than a concerted effort at making the best out of a dying patient’s money. Saving the patient, of course, wasn’t the primary objective of the hospital.

Not only were a huge number disposable syringes billed, they were marked up 1,200 percent. What was procured by the hospital at Rs 15.99, was billed to the customer at Rs 200.

The entire billing was inflated with such arbitrary mark-ups. The NPPA has made three categories of the billings (see letter below). The NPPA has said that it will take action “as per existing law and within its jurisdiction”.

—India Legal Bureau

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