On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare meets for the second day in succession to resume discussions on “Affordability and Treatment for Cancer”.
The 28-member committee, which includes the leader of the Samajwadi Party from Uttar Pradesh and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav will hear “views of stakeholders” at 11 a.m.
On Monday night, the Committee began a discussion about ‘Affordability of Cancer Treatment’. It was attended by a maximum of 28 members. This includes seven Rajya Sabha members and 21 Lok Sabha members.
Sources claim that the Committee suggested to the Central government, during a nearly two-and a half hour discussion Monday, to waive GST on cancer drugs in order to make treatment affordable for this genetic condition.
The committee also highlighted the importance of taking strict measures to monitor the prices of radiation therapy and medicine.
During its meeting, the committee discussed with Rajesh Bhhushan, health secretary and senior officials of the ministry of health, suggesting that cancer should be considered a “notifiable illness.”
It has been a long-standing demand that cancer be made a notifiable condition. This will have a huge impact on the lives of many people and help them to understand the incidence and prevalence of the disease as well as the best ways to combat it.
Recognizing the complexity of treating cancer, the committee stressed the importance of determining the cost of treatment.
Officials from the health ministry informed the committee that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has already set the ceiling prices for 86 formulations, and reduced the maximum retail pricing (MRP), of 526 brands used in cancer treatment.
The NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) is a government regulatory body that regulates the prices for pharmaceutical drugs.