Homegrown drug maker Intas Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic version of blood cancer drug Azacitidine at one-fifth of the price of currently available drug for the disease.
The company's product Azadine, which is a generic version of US-based Celgene Corporation's Vidaza, is used for treating MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) and AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia) types of cancer.
"Treatment with Azadine would cost around Rs 50,000 for a months dosage while treatment with the imported drug for the same dosage currently costs in the range of Rs 2-2.5 lakh per patient," Intas Pharmaceuticals India Head, Marketing & Sales Vijayesh Gupta told PTI.
He claimed oncologists had to rely on the imported drug, which costs in the range of Rs 15-18 lakh for the entire treatment schedule due to lack of alternatives.
"With Azadine the cost of the complete treatment would be around Rs 3 lakh," he said.
MDS is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells and there are abnormal cells in the blood and/or in the bone marrow. Advanced stages of MDS may lead to AML.
Azacitidine is the only drug which has been shown to prolong overall survival duration and time to transformation into AML, increase response rate, reduce transfusion burden and improve quality of life.
Intas is manufacturing Azadine at its Ahmedabad facility, which operates in compliance with global regulatory standards like USFDA, MHRA and ANVISA.
The company has a portfolio of drugs catering to various therepeutic segments including central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular system (CVS) and diabetes.