Cutting TB drugs prices in India: Johnson and Johnson, Mylan propose ways
New Delhi: To provide their Multidrug-Resistant (MDR) TB drugs at cheaper rates to TB patients in India so that patients could easily access to them after the free supply of the drug ends in the country, Johnson and Johnson and Mylan have put up a price proposal for the same, according to a recent reports in ET.
According to the report, Johnson and Johnson will provide one course of Bedaquiline for free if the government will buy four courses of the drug at USD 900 (Rs 58,400) each.
A source mentioned in the report stated that a single course of Bedaquiline consists of 188 tablets and lasts a patient six months and has the price tag of USD 900 in the markets like South Africa whereas it cost USD 30,000 (Rs 19.45 lakh) in the United States.
Mylan is taking into account a Make in India for its TB drug Delamanid to lower the price when donations run out,
"The government is currently in talks with Johnson & Johnson and Mylan," a senior official told ET, referring to procurement prices of Bedaquiline and Delamanid. The official declined to specify the options discussed. He said negotiations are going on and the government has not made a final decision on the matter.
Health activists have been demanding compulsory licenses for Delamanid and Bedaquiline so that domestic companies can make generic versions of the potentially life-saving drugs at much cheaper rates.
A person told the daily that 10,000 courses of Bedaquiline have been promised to India for free through the US Agency for International Development, of which 3,500 have been donated and 1,000 used. The drug costs up to USD 1,500-2,000, ranging from market to market.
The daily reported that J&J is in the early stage talks to grant a voluntary license to Macleods Pharmaceuticals to manufacture a generic version of Bedaquiline.
"Mylan is dedicated to creating treatment access for patients across India in multiple therapeutic and life-threatening disease segments, and is committed to manufacturing medicines for the treatment of tuberculosis," a Mylan spokesperson told ET.
The drug Delamanid is developed by Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Mylan holds an exclusive license to supply the drug to India and South Africa for patients with pulmonary multidrug-resistant TB.
A senior government official requesting anonymity told ET, "India is expected to receive 400 courses of Delamanid for free. The government is expected to administer Delamanid to patients across 21 sites as soon as the donations come in. Access to Bedaquiline is being expanded to 147 sites from 21 sites now."
Bedaquline and Delamanid are considered the last line of defense in the fight against TB and are administered by the government to patients in a controlled manner so that resistance to these drugs is not developed, said the official.