Soon after the Indian government recently raised a patent license, Cipla the major player in Indian pharma has declared a substantial decrease of up to 76 per cent in its cancer drug rates. Ensuing the move, the Cipla price for generic kidney cancer drug, Sorafenib, will now be available at `6,840 a month. Earlier, it was sold at ` 27,950.
Gestinib, the lung cancer drug was sold at `10,200. Now the drug would be sold at ` 4000. The price has been cut down almost by 60 percent. The price for another drug Temozolamide, a highly effective brain tumour treatment medication has now reduced to Rs 5000. It was originally sold at ` 20,250.
According to Dr Sanjay Sharma, Onco Surgeon, SL Raheja Hospital, Mumbai, this is a fabulous move as many patients who were not capable of buying these drugs can now afford them.
For Popat Yadav, a 58-year-old Mumbai resident and an advance stage liver cancer patient is now at relief. He is a factory worker and complete cancer care has always meant a mammoth liability of ` 50,000 per month. He used to shell out this amount each month for treatment.
His daughter Jyoti Yadav expressed her happiness over this matter and said that it is definitely a good move because prices for medicine have drastically reduced. But she also mentioned that the process should come down further. "Middle Class people still can't afford so much", said Jyoti Yadav.
Cipla mentioned that this initiative of price reduction has been definitely humanitarian approach by Cipla to fund cancer patients. However, the experts see this as a competitive pricing issue. This is because in the month of March, the government immediately lifted the patenting license. It also permitted popular domestic drug manufacturer Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell the generic version of Nexavar, Bayer's patent-protected cancer medication.