NEW DELHI - Indian generic drug giant Cipla said yesterday it had slashed by up to 76 per cent prices of three anti-cancer medicines in what it called a "humanitarian" move and promised to cut the costs of more products.
There are 2.5 million cases of cancer diagnosed in India each year, according to the World Health Organisation, with most patients receiving inadequate treatment as drugs are priced beyond their reach.
"Business is business, but it has to be linked with one's social responsibilities. This initiative of price reduction is a humanitarian approach by Cipla to support cancer patients," company chairman Y.K. Hamied said.
"This is the beginning ù we have done it with three products, we will do it I hope with many more," Hamied told AFP, adding that Cipla had around two dozen anti-cancer drugs in its range.
Cipla cut the price of Soranib, a generic version of German giant Bayer's blockbuster kidney cancer drug Nexavar by 76 percent, and will sell it at 6,840 rupees ($130) for a monthly dose, down from 28,000 rupees.
It also said the lung-cancer drug Gefticip, originally produced by AstraZeneca, would be priced at 4,250 rupees, down by over half, and it cut by three-quarters the price of brain-cancer drug Temoside, originally made by Schering, to 5,000 rupees.