Cancer drugs to become cheaper in India
Recently NPPA caps trade margins for 42 anti-cancer drugs.
This is very good initiatives taken by the government. As per the government now the prices of 390 cancer drugs brands would fall drastically by as much as 85 to 90%.
Difference between Trade Margin and MRP
Trade margin is the difference between the price of stockist vs. maximum retail price (MRP).
Price of stockist means at which the manufacturers sell the drugs to stockist/distributors and MRP is the printed price mention on the medicine that most of the retailers/pharmacy/hospitals generally sell to the end customer/patient.
In India, some life-saving generic drugs medicines are sold at Maximum Retail Price (MRP), which has a massive margin approx 300% to 1,000% more than the wholesale price. Sounds incredible? But it’s true.
Companies generally print high MRPs to attract more retailers to sell more of their drugs.
High trade margin is the major problem in the Indian pharmaceutical sector that contribute high drug prices to the end patient in India.
A few years back there were no laws which control MRP but now Indian government taking initiatives to the capping of trade margins of those medicines who are very essentials for patients such as cancer, diabetes and other deadly diseases.
Capping of the trade margin is necessary for India because people are looking at affordable medicines.
Cancer situation in India
Cancer is one of the leading causes of adult illness and death in India.
As per the WHO estimate, there are approximately 18 million cases globally and 1.5 million in India alone suffering from cancer.
There were 8 lakhs cancer deaths in India in 2018.
The number of new cases is growing. While the country is popularly called the pharmacy of the world.
India is the leading pharmaceutical exporter of the world.
People around the world looking India to get affordable medicine. We provide medicine to most of the countries while in India a common cancer patient can’t easily afford these medicine just because of high prices.
Cancer is a very dangerous disease and the cost of medicine and treatment is very high. Cancer patients in India incur heavy out-of-pocket expenditures.
This is a major access barrier to Indian healthcare, especially for the poor and middle-class people in the country because these both categories are from the non-affording category.
The cost of cancer treatment is very high. A poor people in India can’t easily afford the treatment and a middle class who only can afford up to a certain limit.
When it comes to treatment, they face a lot of obstacles. It impacts the whole family financial burden.
Therefore, any price reduction is a great step to offer treatment for all.
The cancer drugs need to be affordable so that whenever required the treatment can be provided at the earliest in the early stages when the cancer treatment is curable.
The Indian government working on to bring down the cost of anti-cancer drugs through capping of trade margin so that it will be easily available and affordable for all the patients who need these life-saving medicine.
Recently National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) caps trade margins to 30% for 42 anti-cancer drugs and It reduced the MRPs of 390 cancer medicines cut by 87% after price control order.
Here’s the complete list of 42 anti-cancer drugs under price control
MRPs of 390 cancer medicines cut by 87% after price control order
After NPPA notification, The maximum retail price (MRP) of 390 non-scheduled cancer medicines have been reduced by up to 87%, the government said Friday (8 March 2019), days after India’s drug pricing regulator brought 42 non-scheduled cancer drugs under price control capping their trade margin at 30%.
As per the NPPA website, The revised prices will come into effect from March 8, 2019.
The Indian ministry wants manufacturers and hospitals to revise the prices based on the trade margin formula. NPPA has notified that the retailer or hospitals cannot charge the patient more than 30 per cent margin on the price at which they buy the medicines from the manufacturer.
This move is expected to major relief around 1.5 million cancer patient in India
The price cut on cancer medicines would result in annual savings of around ₹800 crore for patients, says govt
This is a good initiative taken by the Indian government, however, there are many other international anticancer medicines that help cancer patients. These are the brands that have many patents registered in India as well as other countries.
The government should also consider the compulsory licenses for those cancer medicines who are essentials for patients.
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