Cancer Drugs, Immuno-Therapy May Become Cheap and Affordable

New Delhi, January 7-Fighting cancer could be taken to a whole new level as popular biosimilars available in the market to treat cancer might get cheaper.

After the World Health Organisation revised its list of essential medicines, India’s revised National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) will now incorporate biosimilars like bevacizumab or trastuzumab which could tremendously bring the prices of cancer drugs under control.

If that’s not enough of a morale-booster for the fight against cancer, read this-the latest and revolutionary advancement of immuno-therapy, which has made the possibility of a cure thinkabke, also may get included in the list.

According to some officials, the same development is being contemplated by an expert group of oncologists.

“Experts on oncology from all over the country are gathering tomorrow to finalise the list on oncology drugs, therapies. There are new therapies on cancer with the potential to improve outcomes in those with advanced cancer and hence the updated essential medicines list may incorporate biosimilars, if there is a consensus,” a report in The Economic Times quoted one of the officials saying.

Speaking to Healthwire on the issue, Dr. Kaushal Yadav, Oncology Surgeon, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “Presently immunotherapy is given in advance stages of some cancers. It’s a very costly medicine with limited benefits, so utilised in limited no of patients. Inclusions in essential medicines lists will definitely help much more patients. Immunotherapy indications are increasing and so eliminating cost factor will help in much wider use.”

According to a data, India loses 7,00,000 lives to cancer every year. Even companies like Biocon, Dr Reddy’s, Cadila Healthcare and Reliance Lifesciences have biosimilar market in their focus and the inclusion of new therapies like immuno-therapy could do wonders in the healthcare industry in the times to come.

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