Health ministry mulled compulsory licencing of rare disease drugs -Sushmi Dey

-The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The health ministry was actively mulling compulsory licensing, apart from price capping, of “orphan drugs” (for rare diseases), when the department of pharmaceuticals abruptly issued an order exempting such medicines from price control, derailing plans to make these drugs affordable.

The health ministry discussed price capping and invoking compulsory licence for these “exorbitantly” priced “orphan drugs” at a meeting on January 3, the day when DoP issued its order notifying changes to drug price regulation and removing price caps from several essential medicines, including patented and “orphan drugs”.

In fact, even before the meeting, health secretary Preeti Sudan wrote to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) urging “to explore the feasibility of bringing drugs used for treatment of rare diseases under compulsory licensing so that their costs become affordable to patients”.

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The Times of India, 7 January, 2019,

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