It is absolutely necessary to check the overall price of Parl panel for cancer treatment

Stressing the need to make cancer treatment affordable, a parliamentary panel on Monday suggested senior government officials consider waiving the GST on cancer drugs and take strict measures to check drug prices and drug prices. radiation therapy, sources said.

The panel also suggested that cancer should be a “notifiable disease” so that its “true burden” on the country can be determined and action taken to provide help to patients. A reportable disease must, by law, be reported to government authorities. Collecting information allows authorities to monitor the disease.

Stressing that cancer treatment is “very expensive” in the country, panel members told Health Ministry officials that there was a strong need to check the overall price of cancer treatment, sources said.

Senior ministry officials, including Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, testified before the House Health and Family Welfare Committee on Monday to discuss “affordability of cancer treatment“.

Discussing the structure of the GST on drugs used for the treatment of cancer, panel members from various parties said the government should explore the possibility of exempting the GST on these drugs to reduce their prices and make the more affordable treatment, sources said.

At the same time, the government should take strict measures to control the prices of drugs and radiotherapy used for cancer treatment, they said.

Officials informed the panel that the national drug regulatory authority has so far set price ceilings for 86 formulations, streamlined trade margins for 49 drugs, and reduced the MRP (maximum retail price) of drugs used for treatment. cancer treatment up to 90%. .

The government also wants to roll out the HPV vaccine nationwide, which is used for the treatment of cervical cancer, they said, adding that regulatory approval had been granted but that the case is pending. According to various health organizations including the World Health Organization, cancer cases are gradually increasing in India and it is one of the leading causes of death with 7.84 lakh deaths recorded in 2018 and 13.92 lakh cases reported in 2020.

Cancer treatment also includes post-treatment care and rehabilitation.

Nationally, the average total expenditure for cancer care exceeded Rs 1.16 lakh per patient, while in private hospitals, the total cost of cancer care was estimated at over Rs 1.41 lakh and just above Rs 72,000 in public hospitals.

(PTI)


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