Natco effect: Cipla cuts price of cancer drugs

Pricing: Soranib (for kidney) down by 80%; lung cancer drug cut by over a half

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai | Published:May 4, 2012 3:31 am

The Patent Office’s decision in March 2012 to issue a compulsory license allowing Natco to manufacture generic version of Bayer’s Nexavar — used for treatment of advanced kidney cancer — has kicked off competitive pricing of drugs in the industry.

Cipla today brought down the price of the generic drug,Soranib,by nearly 80 per cent from Rs 28,000 for a month’s dosage to Rs 6,840.

In March,the Controller General of Patents,Designs & Trade Marks allowed Natco to sell the same drug at a price not exceeding Rs 8,880 for a pack of 120 tablets required for a month’s treatment,as compared to Rs 2.80 lakh charged by Bayer for its Nexavar drug. Cipla’s price-cut effectively means its generic version of the drug is over 20 per cent below Natco’s pricing.

Besides Soranib,Cipla also dropped the price of its lung cancer drug Gestinib and a brain tumor drug Temozolamide.

“This initiative of price reduction is a humanitarian approach by Cipla to support cancer patients,” said Y. K. Hamied,Chairman and MD,Cipla. “Drugs constitute a significant proportion of the overall cost of cancer treatment and reduction in costs can greatly relieve the burden.”

Cipla has reduced the price of Gefitinib by 59 per cent from Rs 10,200 to Rs 4,250 (for 30 tablets). The original is manufactured by Astra Zeneca and its branded name is Iressa. The price of Temozolamide has been cut for all three strengths. While the price of the 20 mg (milligram) pack has been cut down from Rs 1,875 to Rs 480 (5 capsules),the price of the 100 mg strength has been brought down from Rs 8,900 to Rs 2,400. The price of the 250 mg strength has been cut to Rs 5,000 from a high of Rs 20,250. Schering-Plough makes the original drug branded as Temodar,Temodal and Temcad.

Cipla manufactures the cancer treatment drugs at its manufacturing unit in Goa,which is approved by WHO-Geneva,USFDA,MHRA-UK and various other international regulatory bodies. Shares of Cipla closed the day with a marginal fall of 0.02 per cent at Rs 317.4.

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