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HomeIndiaGovernanceNearly 400 cancer medicine prices slashed by up to 87%

Nearly 400 cancer medicine prices slashed by up to 87%

The move will result in annual savings of around Rs 800 crore for patients, the Modi government said Friday.

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Announcement comes a day before likely announcement of poll dates, govt says the move will benefit 22 lakh cancer patients.

New Delhi: A day before the likely announcement of the poll dates, the government has released the list of 390 anti-cancer drugs where the maximum retail price has been slashed by up to 87 per cent. The revised prices have come into effect immediately.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on February 27 had brought 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control, capping trade margin at 30 per cent. On Friday, the government made the full list available with the estimates on price fall.

Manufacturers and hospitals were directed to convey the revised MRP based on the trade margin formula. The trade margin is the difference between the price at which manufacturers sell drugs to stockists (and distributors) and maximum retail price (MRP) to patients.

“The NPPA under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has put out a list of 390 anti-cancer non-scheduled medicines with MRP reduction up to 87 per cent. The revised prices would come into effect from March 8, 2019,” an official release said.

During the announcement last month, the NPPA had said that tentative savings to consumers would be more than Rs 105 crore. However, after a detailed review and collecting data from the drug companies instead of research firms like Pharmatrac, NPPA has released the fresh calculations claiming that the savings for consumers would be around Rs 800 crore.

Move will benefit 22 lakh cancer patients: Govt

This move is expected to benefit 22 lakh cancer patients in the country and would result in annual savings of around Rs 800 crore to the patients, the release said.

“The trade margin rationalisation for 42 anti-cancer drugs was rolled out as Proof of Concept, stressing on the new paradigm of self-regulation by the industry. The manufacturers of these 42 drugs have been directed not to reduce production volumes of brands under regulation,” it said.

While the MRP of 38 brands has been reduced by 75 per cent and more, 124 brands have seen a reduction between 50 per cent to 75 per cent.

The MRP of 121 brands has been reduced between 25 per cent to 50 per cent, while the maximum retail price of 107 brands has been reduced below 25 per cent, the release said.

Also read: Breast cancer is still the biggest killer in India, shows study

Patented anti-cancer drugs will remain expensive

According to Malini Aisola, co-convenor, All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), “the fall in the prices of patented drugs is still very negligible, ranging between 1-3 per cent in most of the cases”.

Also, the move may not change retail prices much but patients are likely to be benefitted in hospitals.

“Care should be taken that the whole benefit is passed on in its entirety to patients and they don’t have to bear added costs on other fees as many of the anti-cancer medicines are administered in hospitals,” said Sunil Attavar, president, Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers’ Association.

  • With PTI inputs

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  1. There are some people in our country who will always criticize for any decision taken by Modi Govt.

    Prices of Cancer medicines came down that too with immediate effect. In this few people are stating that it is not full price down or for all medicines…

    If prices of Mobiles with same features are reduced, then few people with unknown mentality are saying the prices of Apple phones need to be reduced too….what is this… gradually things are going in a good direction… at least support them

  2. There are hundreds of cancer types and hundreds of cancer medicines, which are evolving constantly and new medicines are replaced new drugs with clinical efficacy. Modi and RSS/BJP are trying to exploit this complexity in cancer treatments for political gains. Discounts are from 25%-75% and too available only for generic drugs. Patented drugs, which have high clinical benefits, such as improved patenit survival rate, are still expensive. Do these politician care for this?

    How about human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine? Why didn’t Modi provide this vaccine for preventing cervical cancer in women? The reason is RSS objects this vaccine on morality basis, RSS claims this vaccine encourages pre-marital sex. The scientific fact (epidemiological) is more than 122,000 Indian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and around 67,000 will die from this disease each year. In this case, Modi doesn’t care for these women, he cares only for the “Stone Age” ideology of RSS. RSS doesn’t care for human lives anyway. They care for only cows.


    1. Why has the beneficial HPV vaccine not been included in national immunisation programme? | The News Minute. August 2018
    2. Controversy over HPV vaccines in India accelerates – The Pharma Letter The Pharma Letter. May 10, 2018 ·
    3. Why India remains undecided on using the cervical cancer vaccine in public health … Jan 17, 2018 ·
    4. What is HPV vaccine? Here is why RSS-affiliate writes to PM Narendra Modi against introducing it in India – The Financial Express

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