To sell the drug at Rs.6,840 for a monthly dose
Cipla cut the price of its generic version of Bayer's cancer drug Nexavar by 75 per cent, nearly two months after India allowed another drugmaker to make a cut-rate version of the drug over Bayer's objections.
In March, India stripped Bayer of its exclusive rights to sell Nexavar, a treatment for kidney and liver cancer, granting Natco Pharma a license to sell the generic drug at Rs.8,880 ($170) for a monthly dose. Bayer sells the branded Nexavar at Rs.2.84 lakh a month.
That decision was seen as setting a precedent that could extend to other treatments, including modern HIV/AIDS drugs, in a major blow to global pharmaceutical firms.
Cipla said it would sell Nexavar at Rs.6,840 for a monthly dose.
“There was no directive from the government ... We have decided to make the drug affordable to more patients,'' Cipla Chairman Y. K. Hamied told Reuters over the telephone.
Separately, Cipla is fighting a patent infringement suit by Bayer over generic Nexavar in an Indian court.
Lung cancer drug
Along with generic Nexavar, Cipla also cut the price of lung cancer drug and brain tumour drug between 60 and 75 per cent, Mr. Hamied said.
Cipla, the No. 2 drugmaker by market share in India, does not expect the price cut to hit its revenues as the products have low volumes.
“The number of patients for these products is less. Hence, we want to make the drugs available to more patients,'' Mr. Hamied said.
Even generic drug prices are beyond the reach of millions of sufferers of cancer and other diseases in India, experts say.
The price of ‘Soranib', used for treating kidney cancer, has been cut by 76 per cent to Rs.1,710 ‘for a month's therapy', from Rs.6,990, Cipla said in a statement.
Brain cancer drug ‘Temoside' in 250 mg strength would be available at Rs.5,000 against Rs.20,250 earlier.
While lung cancer drug ‘Gefticip 250 mg' in packs of 30 tablets is priced at Rs.4,250 against Rs.10,200.
Cipla's brain cancer drug ‘Temoside' in the strengths of 20 mg, 100 mg, and 250 mg will now be available at Rs.480, Rs.2,400, and Rs.5,000, respectively, for a pack of 5 capsules. The earlier respective prices were Rs.1,875, Rs.8,900 and Rs.20,250, respectively.
The generic lung cancer drug ‘Gefticip 250 Mg' in packs of 10 and 30 tablets will now be available at Rs.1,555 and Rs.4,250, as against their old prices of Rs.3,400 and Rs.10,200, respectively, it added.
The drugs for cancer treatment are being manufactured at its Goa manufacturing facility, which has been approved by WHO-Geneva, USFDA, MHRA-U.K. and other international regulatory bodies, Cipla said.
Shares of Cipla, on Thursday, closed at Rs.317.40 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, down 0.02 per cent from its previous close.