Cancer patients can now take a sign of relief as the central government has slashed the prices of 390 anti-cancer medicines. The fall in the price ranges between three percent and over eighty percent which has made the poor breath easier.
There are many costly cancer medicines such as Lenangio (25 mg) capsule. This capsule costs more than Rs 7000. Therefore, many people cannot afford such medicines.
“In 2017, I was diagnosed with throat cancer. I consulted the doctor who treated me for six months. This cost me around Rs. five lakh including all the expensive medicines which were very high as compared to the medicines which are now coming at a lower cost,” said Bhavesh Hari Chand, a throat cancer patient
Cheaper medicines have made it easy for patients from economically weaker sections.
“I was diagnosed with cancer recently and due to the poor background, I could not afford expensive treatments and medicines provided by the private hospitals. I went to Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology where I’m getting very low-cost treatment and the medicines have become cheaper,” said Lakshmi. R admitted in Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology.
According to the government, the price cut is expected to benefit about 22 lakh cancer patients in India and would result in annual savings of around Rs. 800 crores for the patients.
Smriti Iyer, an Oncologist, says, “After the government had decided to slash the prices of most of the cancer medicines, in some way it has helped the poor who die because of the high cost of the treatment as well as the medicines.’’
According to the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), over seven lakh people have died of various types of cancer in 2018.