NEW DELHI: Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare will meet for the second consecutive day on Tuesday to resume its discussion on "Affordability of Cancer Treatment".
Chaired by the Samajwadi Party leader from Uttar Pradesh and Rajya sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav, the 28-member committee will hear the "views of stakeholders" at 11 am. The Committee had started a discussion over 'Affordability of Cancer Treatment' on Monday evening in the presence of a maximum of the 28 members that includes seven from the Rajya Sabha and 21 from the Lok Sabha.
According to sources, in a nearly two-and-half-hour discussion on Monday, the Committee had suggested to the Central government for waiving GST on cancer drugs so that treatment for this genetic disease can be made affordable. The committee also emphasized on the issue for taking stringent measures to check the prices of medicine and radiation therapy.
The committee during its meeting with health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and senior health ministry officials suggested to make cancer a "notifiable disease."
There is a long pending demand to designate cancer as a notifiable disease because it will have an enormous impact and it will help to determine the exact incidence and prevalence of the disease and the utilization of proper resources to fight the disease.
Aware of the fact that the treatment of cancer is very expansive, the committee emphasized that there is a need to check the overall pricing of cancer treatment.
The health ministry officials informed the committee that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has already fixed the ceiling prices of 86 formulations and reduced the maximum retail price (MRP) of 526 brands of the drugs used for cancer treatment upto 90 per cent. The NPPA is a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs.