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July 24, 2024
Kerala Government to Provide Cancer and Immunosuppressant Drugs at Zero-Profit Price
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Kerala Government to Provide Cancer and Immunosuppressant Drugs at Zero-Profit Price

Jun 29, 2024

In a groundbreaking move aimed at reducing healthcare costs for its citizens, the Kerala State government has announced plans to make expensive cancer drugs and immunosuppressants available at zero-profit prices. This initiative, set to commence in July, targets a significant reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure on health, which currently stands as the highest in the country at ₹7,206 per capita.

Under this scheme, 800 essential drugs, including critical cancer medications and immunosuppressants, will be procured in bulk by the Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd. and distributed through the state’s network of 74 Karunya fair price stores. These medicines will be sold at the original prices set by pharmaceutical companies, ensuring affordability through special “profit-free” counters within Karunya shops located across all districts.

The initiative forms part of a comprehensive strategy by the State government to enhance cancer care accessibility and affordability. This includes the establishment of cancer screening and preventive clinics in hospitals, bolstering treatment facilities at major cancer centers like the Regional Cancer Centre and Malabar Cancer Centre, and the introduction of HPV vaccination programs for cervical cancer prevention among adolescent girls.

Commenting on the initiative, the Health Minister highlighted the government’s commitment to providing high-quality healthcare services at affordable rates, aiming to alleviate the financial burden on families facing serious health challenges.

This proactive step by Kerala sets a precedent in public health governance, demonstrating a concerted effort to prioritize citizen welfare through innovative healthcare policy interventions.

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