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