Cancer drug prices cut by more than half
Cipla announces a reduction ranging from 59-76% in prices of generic drugs used for cancer cure.mumbai Updated: May 04, 2012 02:18 IST
In a major relief for cancer patients, India’s second largest drug-maker Cipla on Thursday announced a reduction ranging between 59-76% in the prices of its generic drugs used in the treatment of cancers of lung, liver, kidney and brain.
“Drugs constitutes a significant proportion of the overall cost of cancer treatment and reduction in costs can greatly relieve the burden,” said YK Hamied, CMD, Cipla.
The move comes in the wake of the government allowing domestic drug maker Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell its generic version of German multinational Bayer’s patent-protected cancer medicine, Nexavar.
In March, Indian Patent office had stripped Bayer of its exclusive rights to sell Nexavar, a treatment for kidney and liver cancer, granting Natco Pharma a licence to sell the generic drug at R8880 for a monthly dose. Bayer sells the branded Nexavar at R284428 a month.
According to World Health Organization, there are about 2.5 million cases of cancers diagnosed in India every year. Most cases receive sub-optimal treatment due to the high cost of drugs.
“These are generic chemotherapy drugs used for brain, lungs, liver and kidney cancer. The kidney and liver drugs have to be taken four times a day, sometimes for up to a year. These drugs will be more accessible to the public now,” said Dr Purvish Parikh, Mumbai-based cancer specialist. There are around 100 stockists of Cipla in India, according to a company spokesperson.