Study Reveals Significant Price Variations in Anti-Cancer Drugs in Indian Market
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Written by Arushi Sharma
27 Feb, 2024
2 min read
A recent study found significant price variations in anti-cancer drugs across different brands in India.
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A study reveals significant price variations among different brands of the same anti-cancer drug in India, raising concerns about affordability and access for cancer patients.

In a recent observational study aimed at analyzing the cost of anti-cancer drugs in the Indian market, striking price variations among different brands of the same drug were uncovered.

The study, conducted by experts in the field, sheds light on the economic challenges faced by cancer patients in India and emphasizes the need for targeted efforts to make these life-saving medications more affordable.

The research, based on data from the latest issue of the "Current Index of Medical Specialties" (CIMS) from January to April 2016, focused on 23 anti-cancer drugs belonging to six different categories and available in 52 different formulations.

Among alkylating agents, oxaliplatin (50mg; injection) exhibited the highest price variation of 125.02%. In the category of anti-metabolites, methotrexate (2.5mg; tablet) showed a notable price fluctuation of 75.30%. The maximum price variation among natural products was observed with paclitaxel (260 mg; injection) at 146.98%. For hormonal drugs, flutamide (250mg; tablet) stood out with an astonishing price variation of 714.24%. Among targeted drugs, imatinib mesylate (100mg; film-coated tablet) had a relatively lower variation of 5.56%, while among supportive drugs, granisetron (1mg; tablet) exhibited the maximum price variation of 388.68%.

The average percentage variations in the prices of different brands of the same anti-cancer drug, prescribed in the same dose and dosage form and manufactured in India, were found to be significantly wide. This suggests a lack of standardization and consistency in pricing across different pharmaceutical companies.

The study underscores the urgent need for collaborative efforts between the government and drug manufacturing companies to reduce the cost of anti-cancer drugs. The wide-ranging price variations place a considerable economic burden on patients, limiting their access to crucial treatments. This research serves as a valuable resource for healthcare professionals in making informed decisions about drug prescriptions and advocates for policy changes to ensure affordable cancer care in the country.

The study emphasizes the importance of comparing cancer chemotherapy prices to ensure transparency and affordability for patients. It highlights the necessity for a standardized pricing structure to alleviate the economic strain on individuals battling cancer in India.

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