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India Offers 42 Cancer Medicines at Affordable Rates Out of 90: Health Minister Mandaviya

India’s Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, announced that out of the 90 available cancer medicines, India offers 42 at the most affordable rates. He made this statement during the launch of “Sanjeevani: United Against Cancer,” a collaborative effort involving the Federal Bank Hormis Memorial Foundation, News18 Network, and Tata Trusts. Mandaviya highlighted the government’s commitment to improving cancer care by expanding cancer hospitals and tertiary care facilities.

He stressed the holistic approach to healthcare, noting the increase in medical seats, colleges, and educational resources for healthcare professionals. The minister also mentioned the Ayushman Bharat health infrastructure mission and the recent launch of the pharmaceutical policy, reinforcing India’s role as a global provider of generic medicines.

Mandaviya emphasized that healthcare should not be politicized or commercialized but viewed as a service to the nation. He discussed how health and development were integrated in 2014 to make healthcare accessible to all citizens. He credited collective efforts and shared responsibility for India’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regarding the “Sanjeevani” initiative, Mandaviya explained its purpose in raising awareness, facilitating discussions about the cancer epidemic, and addressing common fears associated with the disease. He encouraged public participation, emphasizing the importance of stakeholder consultation in India’s healthcare model.

The minister also acknowledged the vital role played by the country’s one million “Asha behen” (community health workers), who collect crucial healthcare data during family visits. Mandaviya highlighted the government’s approach to cancer care, including health and wellness screenings at district-level hospitals and fee waivers for economically disadvantaged patients. He attributed the affordability of cancer medicines in India to the fixed trade margin, which aims to make healthcare more accessible and affordable.

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