Indian Cancer Hospitals Join Forces to Slash Treatment Costs: A Lifesaving Revolution”

In a remote cancer hospital in Silchar, northeast India, a cost-cutting initiative is transforming the lives of patients. The Cachar Cancer Centre, part of the National Cancer Grid, is leveraging bulk purchases to reduce drug expenses by over 85%. This move is a game-changer for many impoverished families who previously struggled with the financial burden of extended cancer treatments.

For instance, breast cancer treatments, often exceeding $6,000, were financially out of reach for many, given the average monthly salary in India is less than $700. The initiative allows patients like Baby Nandi to access these drugs at a third of the cost, eliminating the need for arduous journeys and financial strain.

The National Cancer Grid, led by Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, has successfully saved $170 million by bulk-buying 40 common generic drugs, covering 80% of pharmacy costs. This groundbreaking approach has garnered interest from hospitals and governments nationwide, with plans to expand to over 100 drugs in the next phase.

Dr. C S Pramesh, Director of Tata Memorial Hospital, emphasizes the importance of bringing down costs to increase accessibility, stating that similar initiatives could be crucial for patients globally, especially in lower and middle-income countries facing a significant share of cancer deaths. The success of this initiative not only eases the burden on patients but also ensures a stable drug supply for smaller hospitals in remote areas.

(Source : BBC)

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