It is one of the most feared illnesses in humans and a leading cause of mortality all over the world. Cancer affects over a million Indians, and a considerable proportion of people die from it each year. Some of the most active fields of research in biology and medicine have been the mechanisms and development of cancer or oncogenic transformation of cells, as well as its treatment and management.
About 40% of cancer hospitalisation cases are funded mostly by borrowings, sale of assets and contributions from friends and family”. The average out-of-pocket cost for cancer care is far too high. Cancer care in private facilities costs around three times as much as in public facilities.
The Committee has emphasised the gravity of the issues surrounding cancer therapy. In India, the anticipated incidence in 2020 is around 4 million. In the case of breast cancer: In India and South Africa, the five-year survival rates are 65% and 45%, respectively. It is approaching 90% in high-income nations.
World Health Organization (WHO) study on cancer drug cost and its consequences: A course of typical therapy for early stage HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor) positive breast cancer would cost around ten years of average yearly salaries in India and South Africa, and seven years in the United States.
The expenditures of further medical treatment and interventions (such as surgical operations and radiation) and supporting care, according to WHO, would make total care more costly.
Breast cancer treatment protocol- CDK (cyclin-dependent kinase) inhibitors are an important therapeutic strategy, particularly for metastatic breast cancer. Ribociclib, Palbociclib, and Abemaciclib were utilised. They aid in the slowing of cancer cell spread in the body. A month of therapy with these medications costs between $48,000 and $95,000.
They invest over $3 billion to bring a novel chemical to market, which they must recoup in order to remain competitive. According to the WHO analysis, research and development investment may have little or no association with how pharmaceutical corporations set cancer treatment costs.
Companies set their pricing in order to maximise profits. Pharma corporations in the developed countries have convinced their governments to increase their patent and other types of intellectual property rights. They have monopolistic control over their products.
A medicine’s patent rights endure until the end of its patent life, after which generic competition drives down its price. In the case of a number of noncommunicable illnesses, such as cancer: Newer treatments might be offered as standard care for treatment even before generic makers hit the market. Leading industrial businesses gain patents on incremental advancements utilising earlier medications (“evergreening” of patents), therefore prolonging their exclusive rights over the medicines.
The inability to get these crucial medications. Patients’ and their families’ lives were put under severe financial strain. Its right to live in dignity, a basic right guaranteed by Article 21, is under threat.
WTO member nations’ trade ministers adopted the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health Declaration in 2001, which recognised every country’s authority to award CLs. The employment of this device had been resisted by advanced countries.
Without the permission of the right holders, Indian firms cannot produce these drugs. As a result, if these pharmaceuticals are subjected to “evergreening,” high prices would persist at least until 2029, and maybe beyond.
By issuing compulsory licences in accordance with Patents Act Sections 84 and 92. Patent rights are superseded by the compulsory licences. The government may utilise Section 100 provisions, which allow it to enable any entity to exploit a protected invention without the permission of the patent holder. If no domestic firm expresses interest in acquiring compulsory licences, Section 100 may be relevant.