The government's move to issue compulsory licences (CLs) for three more patented cancer drugs is a jolt to multinational pharmaceutical companies.
The plan is to issue CLs for Trastuzumab (or Herceptin, used for treating breast cancer), Ixabepilone (used for chemotherapy in breast cancer treatment) and Dasatinib (or Sprycel, for leukaemia). These cost an average of $3,000-4,500 (Rs 1.64-2.45 lakh) for a month's treatment.
Last March, the Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma had won the first ever CL, to manufacture its generic version of Bayer's patent-protected anti-cancer drug, Nexavar. With the licence, Natco sold the drug at Rs 8,880 for a pack of 120 tablets, a month's therapy, as against Rs 2.8 lakh, the cost at which Bayer sells Nexavar.