Friday, May 4, 2012

Cipla cuts Cancer Drug Prices in India

Indian Pharmaceutical giant Cipla has throttled the market of its competitors by cutting down the prices of its Cancer drugs by up to 75 percent.

As per the new price while the Kidney cancer drug Nexavar will now be available at 6,840 for a month's supply down from the earlier price Rs. 28,000, the Lung cancer drug Gestinib will cost now Rs. 4,250 down from Rs.10,000 and prices of Temozolamide used to treat brain tumor have been slashed from Rs.20,000 to Rs.5,000.

Cipla chairman and managing director Y K Hamied on Thursday described the price cut to be a humanitarian approach by Cipla to support cancer patients. He said that drugs constitute a significant proportion of the overall cost of cancer treatment and reduction in costs can greatly relieve the financial burden.

India has received the price slash with gratitude. However, some of the people have condemned the statement of Y K Hamied who described the action to be a humanitarian step.

They argue that the move comes on the back of the government allowing domestic firm Natco Pharma to sell generic version of cancer drug Nexavar at nearly 97% lower price than charged by patent-holder Bayer Corporation.

In March, the Indian Patent Controller had cleared Natco's application to sell the drug at Rs 8,880 for a month's treatment, as compared to Rs 2.8 lakh per month charged by Bayer for its patented Nexavar drug. Hence it is less humanity and more business – they advocate.

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