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India Provides 42 Out of 90 Cancer Medicines at Highly Affordable Rates, Says Health Minister

Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, revealed on Wednesday that out of the 90 medicines used to treat cancer, the country offers 42 of them at some of the most affordable rates globally.

By Rekha Joshi 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya revealed on Wednesday that out of the 90 available cancer medicines, India provides 42 at exceptionally affordable prices. He made this announcement during the inauguration of “Sanjeevani: United Against Cancer,” a collaborative initiative by the Federal Bank Hormis Memorial Foundation, News18 Network, and Tata Trusts.

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Mandaviya emphasized the government’s commitment to enhancing cancer care, stating, “We are expanding the number of cancer hospitals and tertiary care facilities. Our approach to the healthcare sector is comprehensive. We have increased the number of MBBS and post-graduate medical seats and colleges while enhancing medical education resources. The Ayushman Bharat health infrastructure mission is actively working towards this goal. We recently launched the pharmaceutical policy. India is known as the pharmacy of the world for generic medicines.”

He underlined that health should never become a political or commercial issue but should remain a service to the people of India. Mandaviya stressed the importance of a holistic approach to the healthcare sector, highlighting that the country’s approach to healthcare was transformed in 2014 to integrate health with overall development.

Mandaviya also noted that health is a shared responsibility, and each individual plays a role in the well-being of the nation. He recognized the collective effort and shared responsibility that allowed the nation to effectively combat the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Sanjeevani” initiative aims to raise awareness, facilitate discussions about the silent cancer epidemic, and address the common fears associated with the disease. Mandaviya encouraged public participation and stakeholder consultation, welcoming suggestions to improve healthcare services and fight diseases.

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The Health Minister acknowledged the significant role played by India’s 10 lakh “ASHA behen” (community health workers), with each serving a population of 1,000. He highlighted their crucial role in collecting essential healthcare information through family visits.

Mandaviya also discussed the government’s approach to cancer care, emphasizing the importance of health and wellness screenings at district-level hospitals and the provision of fee waivers for financially disadvantaged patients. He emphasized that cancer medications are available at non-profit prices in India due to the country’s fixed trade margin, demonstrating India’s commitment to making healthcare more affordable and accessible.

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