Pro-MASS Feature Service: Dec 27, 2015:
There’s a good news for patients suffering from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Government has launched India’s first retail facility at AIIMS to provide drugs for cancer and cardiovascular diseases at highly discounted rates.
The pharmacy named AMRIT — Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment — will have 202 drugs of cancer and cardiovascular diseases where the price is going to be reduced on an average by 60 to 90 per cent. With the aim to reduce the expenditure incurred by patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases, the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, J P Nadda inaugurated the Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlet at AIIMs on Sunday. To begin with, the retail outlet will sell drugs for the two ailments at highly discounted rates at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Health Minister said AMRIT will be launched in all Central Govt hospitals soon and lakhs of patients will benefit from this initiative. The AMRIT pharmacy would be selling 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs, and 148 types of cardiac implants at very affordable prices. Patients can buy medicines and implants at 50 to 60 percent cheaper prices than the open market from AMRIT outlet in AIIMS. The project has been floated in a tie-up with government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which is deputed to establish and run the AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country.
The government’s move comes amid statistics that peg Indians diagnosed with cancer at 700,000 every year. About 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 145,000, according to the World Health Organisation.
Nearly over 50 percent of patients stop visiting hospitals after two or three cycles of chemotherapy due to unaffordable costs. Keeping this in mind Amrit will sell drugs at highly discounted prices.For example one can purchase ‘Docetaxel 120mg’ used for chemotherapy cycle at Rs.888.75 for one cycle, when the MRP of the injection is Rs.13,440. Similarly, Caboplatin 450 mg would be sold at Rs.1,316.25 while its MRP is Rs. 2,561.57. Needless to say that this initiative will prove a boon to the lower and middle class patients, suffering from cancer and heart ailments. Every year 700,000 patients get diagnosed. About 2.8 million people have cancer at any point of time. Half a million die of the disease each year. Annual figure of women being diagnosed with breast cancer is 145,000. 50 percent of patients stop visiting hospitals after two or three cycles of chemotherapy due to unaffordable costs.