Cancer stents, drugs to sell at economic prices
The Indian health ministry is working on making cancer medicines available at substantially lower price. The health ministry is aiming to "procure such drugs in bulk at a negotiated price and supply them to hospitals." The consumers can buy the drugs through retail systems like 'Jan Aushadhi' stores. The ministry said that it aimed to lower prices without cutting through the margins of companies.
SC quashes patent protection for Glivec
The Supreme Court in its historic judgement denied pharma giant Novartis AG's case "to preserve its patent over a life-saving cancer drug, Glivec." This ruling gave respite to thousands of patients in India and in developing countries as it saved them from 15-fold drug escalation costs. This judgement is one of the biggest problems for multinational pharmaceuticals as they have been denied patent protection
Doctors come together to attack expensive drugs
100 prominent cancer doctors from around the world, including Indian specialists, grouped together to convince principal pharmaceutical companies to bring their prices down. Some of the experts even included researchers who had close affinity to the pharmaceutical industry. The specialists highlighted that cancer drugs expenditure could go upto $100,000 which was an impossible amount for patients to give and hence asked for lower prices.
No follow through by 20% cancer patients
The journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings found out that 20% of those suffering from cancer do not follow their prescribed treatment regimen because of the high costs of the drugs.
New protocol to make cancer treatment affordable
Doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital are striving to provide alternatives for cancer treatments that could cost less than Rs.1,000 a month. Christened the metronomic treatment protocol, the alternatives involve everyday consumption of a mixture of low-dose medication that are inexpensive because they have been there for long. This branch aims to provide "good quality and affordable" treatment but is still in research phase.
No sales tax for certain cancer drugs
Finance and planning minister Sudhir Mungantiwar announced that certain medicines which were needed for the treatment of cancer would be spared from sales tax, a step that is aimed to lower their costs. He said that this move would cost the exchequer Rs.15 crore. Moreover, Rs.300 crore had been alotted for Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yojana by the government.
Online cancer portal to lower treatment costs
Tata Memorial Centre started an online portal that provided medical expertise to cancer patients called 'Navya'. Rajan Badwe, director at TMC said that "this programme not only gives them a second opinion but also saves their time and money." Through the 'Navya Network' the user can upload their medical history and post queries for the doctor in 3 simple steps.