Salient to Investors:

Indian heart surgeon Devi Shetty has cut the price of artery-clearing coronary bypass surgery to $1,583, half of what it was 20 years ago, and versus $106,385 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Shetty said the current price of everything in health care is predominantly opportunistic pricing and the outcome of inefficiency.

Srinath Reddy at the World Heart Federation said it is possible to deliver very high quality cardiac care at a relatively low-cost.

Two-thirds of the Indian population lives on less than $2 a day and 86 percent of health care is paid out-of-pocket by individuals. The Public Health Foundation of India and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that in India non-communicable ailments such as heart disease are more common among the poor than the rich.

A Vascular Health and Risk Management study puts the mortality rate from coronary artery disease among South Asians at 2 to 3 times higher than that of Caucasians.

The AMA said the average age for a first heart attack in India, Pakistan and other South Asian nations was 53 years, versus 58.8 years in countries outside the region.

More Asian electronics companies are entering the market for CT scanners, MRIs and catheterization labs, bringing down prices.

Many of the cost-saving approaches could be duplicated in developed economies, especially in the US under health reform.

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