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Cancer drugs become cheaper in India

Posted on Nov 30, 06:05PM | IBNS

The Indian government has included cancer drugs under Essential Medicines List as a result of which prices of tablets meant for treating the disease have gone down.

This information was given by Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Kumar Jena in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

"As per the orders of the Controller of Patents, Mumbai compulsory license has been granted to M/s Natco for manufacture of an anti-cancer drug "NEXAVAR". M/s Natco Pharma Ltd. are required to sell this drug at a price not exceeding Rs. 8880/- for a pack of 120 tablets, required for a month's treatment which was earlier being sold by M/s Bayer Corporation at Rs. 2,80,428/- for one month treatment," said Jena.

The minister said based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM), National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy, 2012 (NPPP-2012) which also contains anti-cancer drugs was placed before the Cabinet.

The Cabinet considered NPPP-2012 in its meeting held on Nov 22 and approved the same with certain modifications. Further action to notify NPPP-2012 has been undertaken.

Besides formulating NPPP-2012, the Indian Patents Act as amended in 2005 contains provisions for issue of Compulsory License for patented drugs.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had informed that so far one Compulsory license has been granted by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks to a drug manufacturing company since the amendment of the Patents Act in 2005 for an application filed under Section 84 of the Patents Act (as amended in 2005).