India’s drug price watchdog has recently cut trade margins of 42 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs sold under 463 brands to 30 percent in a move to address the spiralling cost of medicines used in the treatment of cancer.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) directed manufacturers and hospitals to convey revised rates, which will be effective from March 8, based on the trade margin formula.
The average out-of-pocket expenditure for cancer patients is 2.5 times that of other diseases. The move is expected to benefit 22 lakh cancer patients in the country and would result in annual savings of approximately Rs 800 crores to patients.
The trade margin rationalisation for 42 anti-cancer drugs was rolled out as a proof of concept, stressing on the new paradigm of self-regulation by the industry. The manufacturers of these 42 drugs have been directed not to reduce production volumes of brands under regulation, an NPPA release stated.
The NPPA has issued the list of the 463 non-scheduled anti-cancer drugs whose prices have to be reduced through trade margin rationalisation.
As many as 57 anti-cancer drugs are under price control as scheduled formulations as of now.