First AMRIT outlet at AIIMS, to offer cancer drugs

Aimed at lowering treatment cost of cancer and cardio-vascular diseases that are on the rise in India, Union Health Minister J P Nadda today launched the country's first AMRIT outlet at AIIMS here to sell drugs at highly discounted rates.

"Under the AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) programme, we want to give medicines at an affordable cost. We have identified 202 drugs of cancer and cardio-vascular diseases where the price is going to be reduced on an average by 60 to 90 per cent.

"In the same way, 148 cardiac implants will be given from the centre and sold here and their cost will be reduced by 50 to 60 per cent. This is a pilot project which we have started at AIIMS. After 15 days, we are going to review the programme, and in the coming times, we will try to replicate it in all central government hospitals," Nadda said.

The Government of India-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) will establish and run AMRIT pharmacy, which will sell both drugs and implants at significant discount on market rates, based on authentic prescriptions from doctors to patients not only from AIIMS but other hospitals also.

"The AMRIT pharmacy would be dispensing drugs and implants based on valid prescriptions from respective doctors. Prices of some drugs available at AMRIT pharmacy are strikingly low. For example, AMRIT will sell 'Docetaxel 120mg' used for chemotherapy cycle at Rs 888.75 (93 per cent rebate) for one cycle whereas MRP of the injection is Rs 13,440.

Similarly, 'Caboplatin 450mg' would be sold at Rs 1,316.25 while its MRP is Rs 2,561.57," said AIIMS Director M C Mishra.

The government's move came amid disturbing statistics that peg Indians diagnosed with cancer at 7,00,000 every year. An official report says 2.8 million people have cancer at any point of time and half a million die of the disease each year.

The annual figure of women being diagnosed with breast cancer in India is 1,45,000, according to the World Health Organization. more  

View all 7 comments Below 7 comments
A great initiative and help from Govt. Kindly provide AMRIT web site so that every body can know the list of 220 medicines to start with and carry the list to their doctors to prescribe from the list. Once again thanks and best wishes for a very good work. more  
Sir, Is AMRIT selling drugs other than for Cancer and Cardio and particularly Generic Drugs for other diseases on prescriptions? more  
It is indeed a welcome move to help the suffering community specifically for under privileged sections of the society. more  
It is a very welcome move by the Government. I don't know what procedure of dispensation and whose recommendations/Prescription will be valid. I for one would like Diabetes Medicines to be added under AMRIT. We can all wish for its Success. Affordable Health Care is a fundamental right and the Govt. move is highly appreciable. more  
it is a welcome move. but why only AIIMS or government hospitals alone?i am a cancer patient and suffering badly due to high costs of medicines.i am getting treated at apollo cancer hospital at hyderabad. i wish that you open your centres at all cancer hospitals in the country including at Apollo Cancer hospital at hyderabad. thanks in anticipation .. more  
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