India Cuts Prices on Key Drugs

India has issued new caps on the prices of 51 essential drugs in a move expected to reduce prices by between 6% and 53%, according to The Economic Times. Drugs used to treat heart problems, Hepatitis-C, and cancer are among those affected by the caps, which take effect immediately. Injectable alteplase powder, used to treat heart attacks and ischemic strokes, is now capped at Rs 35,985 ($557) for a 30mg pack, a reduction of 28 percent from the current maximum levels. Colorectal cancer drug Oxaliplatin will now be capped at Rs 4,055.10 ($63) for 100mg, around 48% cheaper than the current highest priced brand. The price of Oxaliplatin ranges from Rs 2,500 ($39) to Rs 7,800 ($121) per 100mg, according to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPAA). The NPAA has set the retail price of a fixed-dose combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir—used to treat Hepatitis-C—at Rs 15,625 for 28 tablets. The drug is marketed by companies including Abbott India, Zydus Cadila, Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s and Sun Pharma.