Cancer Support Group

Tuesday, Aug 04th

Last update:06:42:40 AM GMT

Year 2012

Anti-cancer drug prices hit the roof

DNA
05 Oct 2012
In spite of the SC directive to cap costs, patients will continue to be burdened as most medicines are sourced from MNCs

Even as the Supreme Court has directed the Centre not to increase the cost of essential drugs in the market, those suffering from life–threatening ailments, especially cancer , will have to continue paying through their nose for treatment.

Reason: A majority of the anti–cancer drugs do not feature under the ambit of the government’s new proposed list of 348 drugs. Doctors pointed out that a bulk of drugs are procured from foreign players leading to escalated costs. "Targeted treatment for breast cancer therapy can cost anywhere up to Rs10 lakh. Hardly 3% to 5% of patients can afford such costly treatment. The drugs are procured from multinational pharma players and thus, the costs hit the roof," said Dr CS Pramesh, head of thoracic surgery, Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel. One of the methods to ease patient woes by making medicines affordable, doctors feel, is to boost indigenous clinical research and drug development for the domestic market. Hardly 10% of the entire medical and pharmaceutical fraternity though is involved in original research for drug development.

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