The Competition Commission of India (CCI) issued notices to three big hospital chains - Max Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals, and Fortis Healthcare asking for pricing details of pharmacies, vendors and prices of their drugs and medical devices, or face potential penalties.
The CCI's notices came after a detailed investigation by the fair price regulatory authority on the basis of a consumer's complaint about the price of syringes.
The CCI issued its notices in late-2021 after the hospitals provided information about their most sold drugs and medical devices, according to Firstpost.
This is the first instance of CCI action against hospitals to keep a check on price inflation.
The basis for the CCI's investigation was a 2015 complaint by Vivek Sharma, a social worker.
Sharma reportedly purchased syringes from Max Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi's Patparganj and compare their price to the same product from a medical store elsewhere in Delhi. His complaint states that he paid Rs.19.50 almost double the maximum retail price of Rs.11.50.
The complaint also led to the CCI widening the ambit of its probe into other private hospitals in the national capital, to examine prices.
The CCI released its findings in a study in December 2021, with the objective of identifying the factors that influence medical prices.
Firstpost quoted a Max Healthcare spokesperson as stating that an investigation is currently under way and that the hospital is extending its full cooperation to the CCI. It added that Fortis and Apollo had offered no comment at this moment.
(With inputs from Firstpost.)