It is difficult to imagine anyone who has not heard of the disease we call “cancer”. Ten million new cases are diagnosed annually worldwide, and the number is expected to increase to 20 million by the year 2020. Not only the treatment of the disease is painful but the cost of the treatment is also very expensive. And therefore, after capping the trade margin of 42 anti-cancer drugs by 30%, the Union government on March 8 has capped market price of 390 non-scheduled medicines with the market price reduction of 87%. This surely is going to bring a relief to the people undergoing the cancer treatment. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has put out the list of the anti-cancer drugs on their website. “On 27 February, 2019, NPPA had put 42 anti-cancer drugs under the 30% trade margin cap. Manufacturers and hospitals were directed to convey revised MRP, to be effective from 8th March based on the Trade Margin (TM) formula; 390 brands i.e. 91% of the 426 brands reported by manufacturers, showed downward price movement,” a press statement said.390 brands, 91% of the 426 brands reported by manufacturers, showed downward price movement. The average out of pocket expenditure for cancer patients is 2.5 times that for other diseases. This move is expected to benefit 22 Lakh cancer patients in the country and would result in annual savings of approx. Rs. 800 Crores to the consumers. The Trade Margin rationalization for 42 anti cancer drugs was rolled out as 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.
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