Anti-cancer drug prices slashed up to 87%

New Delhi, May 19: In a huge relief for cancer patients and their families, the retail prices of nine anti-cancer drugs have been slashed by up to 87 per cent by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).

According to a ToI report, these nine drugs include commonly used chemotherapy injections to treat lung cancer as well. As per the revised order, the maximum retail price of pemetrexed 500mg injection which is sold under the brand name Pemxcel and used to treat lung cancer is now Rs 2,800 which was previously at Rs 22,000. However, a 100mg dose of the same injection will cost Rs 800 against the previous price of Rs 7,700.

Similarly, the retail price of epirubicin, sold under the brand name of Epichlor will cost Rs 960 for a 50mg injection against Rs 2,662. Whereas,  10mg dose of the same injection will cost  276.8 against Rs 561.

However, spokespersons from the health industry have said that companies have been asked not to cut down on production volumes as major drug makers have not commented on the ramifications of the price cut.

The price of erlotinib 100 mg pack of 10, sold as Erlotaz, will cost Rs 1,840. Earlier it used to be Rs 6,600. A 10-tablet pack of 150mg strength will cost Rs 2,400 against the old price of Rs 8,800.

Similarly, the price of everolimus which is sold under the brand name of Lanolimus, the dose of 0.25mg and 0.5mg have been slashed to Rs 406 from Rs 726 and Rs 739 from Rs 1,452.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is an independent body of experts under the Union ministry of chemicals and fertilizers that monitors and controls drug prices in the country. It may be noted that this is the second time since March when NPPA has announced a price cut on anti-cancer drugs.

With Agencies

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