KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals announced a price reduction of Trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer, being marketed in India under the brand name ‘ Trumab’. A 440 mg vial of Trumab will be priced at INR 15,749, which makes it the most affordable option available currently in the country.
Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that has been the mainstay of HER2-positive breast cancer treatment for many years. The cost of Trastuzumab treatment has been a major barrier for many patients in India. Most of the existing Trastuzumab brands in the market are priced in between Rs 40,000 to 54,000 per 440 mg vial. Considering that a patient needs to undergo a minimum of 18 cycles (12 months) of treatment, the average cost of treatment ranges from INR 4,00,000 to INR 5,00,000 for early breast cancer and can exceed INR 5,00,000 for advanced/metastatic cases. This can be a significant financial burden for many families, especially in India, where out of pocket expenditures account for approx. 52% of the total healthcare financing[i].
Alok Malik, Executive Vice President & Head of India Formulations, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. said, “At Glenmark, we believe that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare, regardless of their financial situation. Our company’s move of reducing the cost of its life-saving drug Trumab is a major step in this regard. This will not only increase the accessibility, but also bring hope to over 75% of self-paying HER2-positive breast cancer patients in India.”
HER2-Positive Breast Cancer:
All breast cells have and are tested for an excess of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, commonly referred to as HER2. HER2 proteins are receptors that control how the cells grow and divide. When breast tissue has extra HER2 receptors (overexpression), breast cells can multiply too quickly. The growth may become uncontrolled and lead to a tumor. Breast cancer identified as HER2-positive tends to grow faster, spread (metastatic breast cancer) and come back (recur). This protein helps cancer cells grow and spread. Trastuzumab works by binding to the HER2 protein and blocking its activity ii.
Prevalence of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer in India
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in India, accounting for 13.5% of all cases, with an estimated 1.78 lakh new cases diagnosed each year, and a 5-year prevalence of 4.5 lakh cases, according to GLOBOCAN 2020 report. The incidence of HER2 positivity in the Indian population ranges between 26% and 50%iii.