KOCHI: The decision to lift concessions in customs duty in the case of 76 medicines is set to hit over a lakh poor haemophiliacs who are dependent on imported clotting factor concentrates.
“If it is a part of ‘Make in India’ policy, the Government should ensure a mechanism whereby the patients get quality drugs for treatment. The present step will hike the cost by 25 per cent making treatment of life-threatening haemerrages beyond the reach of common man,” said Dr N Vijayakumar, medical officer in charge of the hemophiliac treatment centre at Aluva Distrit Government Hospital.
As per WFH (World Federation of Hemophilia) guidelines for the management of hemophilia, 2012, while selecting plasma-derived concentrates for treatment of haemophilia, consideration needs to be given to both the plasma quality and the manufacturing process.
“A large chunk of plasma required for fractionation and production of clotting factor concentrates is imported from outside. Those collected indigenously do not follow the international standards of plasma safety,” says Dr Vijayakumar.
He also said that the tests undertaken by the National Institute of Biologicals have brought to focus the quality issues with home products. “We have over 600 patients registered with the only Haemophilia Treatment Centre in the State at Aluva. It is high time steps are taken in the interests of the haemophilia patients,” he said.