India's efforts towards providing cancer patients access to affordable healthcare has achieved a significant boost as the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on 15 May 2019 released a memorandum bringing nine anti-cancer drugs in its price control framework as a result of which retail prices of such drugs have been slashed by up to 87 per cent, The Times of India.
The drugs whose prices have been slashed include commonly used but crucial chemotherapy injections for lung cancer treatment. As per the order from NPPA, the maximum retail price (MRP) of 500mg dosage one such drug, pemetrexed sold under the brand name 'Pemxcel' has come down from Rs 22,000 to Rs 2,800.
The NPPA which runs under the administrative authority of an independent body of experts under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers took the decision to slash the prices after reviewing the data collected from drug manufacturers.
This is the second instance since March 2019 when NPPA announced a price cut on anti-cancer drugs. In February 2019 it had brought 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs under price control, capping trade margin at 30 per cent. As a result, more than 390 brands reduced the costs of over 72 formulations providing a great relief to the patients and related families.