The country's drug price regulator has capped margins on nine anti-cancer drugs. Effectively, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) sharply reduced the minimum retail prices (MRP) on commonly used cancer treatment drugs including chemotherapy injections that are used to treat lung cancer, a Times of India report said. These drugs include Erlotinib, Pemxcel, Epochlor, Leoprogon Depot and Lanolimus.
Pemxcel (or pemetrexed 500mg injection), which is used for treating lung cancer will be priced at Rs 2,800 from Rs 22,000. The price for a 100 mg dose was reduced from Rs 7,700 to Rs 800.
Retail price of 10g injection of epirubicin will cost Rs 276.8 from Rs 561 and a 50g dosage will now be priced at Rs 960 instead of Rs 2,662.
NPPA is an independent body of experts under the Union Ministry of chemicals and fertilizers controls and monitors drug prices in India. This is the second time that trade margins have been capped on anti-cancer drugs. It had fixed trade margins of 42 anti-cancer drugs across 380 brands in February.
Paragraph 19 of Drug Price Control Orders, 2013, was invoked to fix trade margins at 30 percent. The government directed manufacturers to fix their retail price based on the price at first point of sale of product, or price to stockist.
Trade margin is the difference in the price at which drugs are sold by the manufacturers to the stockists or distributors and the final sale price at which it is sold to the patients (MRP).