Price cap set on 42 cancer drugs: Will the latest move by Modi government help?

By: | Published: March 1, 2019 7:36 PM

In good news, 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs have been brought under price control by the government, cutting retail prices by up to 85 per cent.

The drug pricing regulator Wednesday capped the prices of drugs at 30 per cent the maximum trade margins.

In good news, 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs have been brought under price control by the government, cutting retail prices by up to 85 per cent. The drug pricing regulator Wednesday capped the prices of drugs at 30 per cent the maximum trade margins.

According to the official release, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has invoked extraordinary powers in public interest, under Para 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 to bring 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control through trade margin rationalisation.

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It may include breast cancer injection bevacizumab, marketed by companies like Roche under the brand Avastin, Biocon as Krabeva, Mylan as Abevmy and Hetero Drugs as Cizumab. The Indian Express reported citing a government official that the MRPs of these drugs can’t be marked up over 42 per cent from the price at which the stockist has purchased them from the manufacturer or marketing firm.

However, not all think that the latest move by the government may help much. “The issue of trade margins is not subject to a few drugs and India needs to cap trade margins at the distributor, hospital and retail level. Trade margins of 30 per cent are too high, because, if you look at the trade margins that South Africa has fixed under its legislation across the board for all medicines, it does not exceed 10 per cent,” said Leena Meghaney, South Asia Head-Access Campaign, Medecins Sans Frontieres.

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