Cancer treatments have improved outcomes but access to medications is an issue around the world and especially so in low- and middle-income countries, such as India. Generic substitution may lead to significant cost savings. The author aimed to compare the cost and estimate potential cost savings per cycle, per patient, and for the country as a whole with generic substitution of frequently used chemotherapy drugs in the treatment of common cancers in India. Generic paclitaxel (Taxol), docetaxel (Taxotere), gemcitabine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan cost from 8.9% to 36% of their equivalent branded originator drug, resulting in cost savings of ~ Indian Rupees (INR) 11 000 to >INR 90 000 (USD 200-1600, Euro 160-1300) per cycle; and ~INR 50 000 to >INR 240 000 (USD 900-4300, Euro 700-3400) per patient. Overall, potential yearly savings for health systems in India were nearly INR 47 billion (~USD 843 million, Euro 670 million). In conclusion, generic substitution for frequently used chemotherapy drugs in the treatment of common cancers has an enormous potential to generate significant cost savings and increase access to cancer treatments in India and other low- and middle-income countries. The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas