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.
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