In recent years, the medical industry has grown at a stupendous rate. There is a massive infrastructure development, an increase in the manufacturing of low-cost medical equipment, and the creation of employment opportunities for a large number of people ranging from doctors to administrators. In the industry's growth, the angioplasty sector has made a major contribution. Patients increasingly prefer angioplasty to bypass surgery. Unlike earlier, today a patient thinks twice before agreeing to the bypass surgery.
Statistics show that approximately more than 40,000 angioplasties are performed every year in India. This number is steadily increasing due to a rise in the number of foreign patients visiting our country for effective and low-cost angioplasty. Most of the patients are from Africa, Gulf countries, and SAARC nations. Such increase in the overseas demand for medical treatment is also giving a boost to our country's medical tourism industry.
One of the major causes of a reduced cost of angioplasty is the supply of angioplasty equipment at a lower price. As new players are entering the angio-device industry, the competition to grab the maximum market share is increasing. Hence, every player is trying to provide the best quality equipment at the lowest possible price leading to an overall reduction in the device prices. For example, the price of bare metal stents and drug eluting stents has been slashed by approximately 15 percent. The price of angioplasty balloons, catheters, and wires has fallen by almost 40 percent. The old players, like Cypher and Vasucular Concepts, are also forced to slash their prices to retain their market share.
Another reason contributing to the low angioplasty cost is the lowering of professional charges by interventional cardiologists. Today, the Indian angioplasty market is a buyer's market where the supply of treatment resources is more than its demand. Along with this, an increase in the awareness about medical treatment, patients are going for the optimum medical package that provides the best quality treatment at the least cost. Therefore, to attract more patients, hospitals and cardiologists are reworking on their fees and charges. During 1990s, the cardiologists were charging approximately 50,000 for one surgery. Today, the charges have slashed down to 20,000 per surgery.
Moreover, due to an increase in cath labs across the country, hospitals are also forced to reduce their cath lab charges. All the cost reductions taken together have reduced the cost of angioplasty to a great extent in our country.
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