Prices of most of the anti cancer drugs are quite high. In order to reduce the prices of cancer medicines the Government has recommended to the Department of Revenue for Customs and Excise Duty exemption for all anti cancer drugs. Moreover in the proposed Draft National Pharmaceuticals Policy, 2006 it has been proposed, inter-alia, that Government would completely exempt all anti cancer drugs (bulk and formulations) from all types of Central taxes, excise duty, import duty etc, and effort would be made that the benefit would be passed on to the consumers.
Industry and trade would be requested to reduce their margins to the barest minimum level and pass on the benefit to the consumers. A Cancer Medicines Assistance Scheme as a public - private partnership model has also been proposed for providing cheaper medicines to the patients through cancer hospitals.
Draft National Pharmaceutical Policy was considered by the Cabinet at its meeting held on 11.1.2007. The Cabinet has referred the Policy to Group of Ministers (GOM). The First meeting of the GOM was held on 10.4.2007 and the Second meeting was held on 12.9.2007. No time frame has been set for finalizing the National Pharmaceuticals Policy.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilisers and Parliamentary Affairs Shri B.K. Handique in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.