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Hike in cash aid for patients with rare diseases raises hopes for entry of new ‘orphan drugs’ in India

The change has come through a modification in the National Policy for Rare Diseases, which was first notified in 2021

June 07, 2022 / 09:42 AM IST

A recent government decision to hike the monetary support offered to patients suffering from rare diseases from Rs 20 lakh to 50 lakh, covering all conditions, is set to pave the way for the introduction of new therapies and drugs for the treatment of ‘orphan diseases’ in the country. In a recent order, the Union health ministry said that financial support up to Rs 50 lakh would be provided to the patients from any category of rare diseases at the specified centres of excellence.

Rare disease-3

This is a departure from its previous line of supporting patients of only specified diseases with a one-time grant of up to Rs 20 lakh. Also, these patients, in order to be eligible for the grant, needed to be beneficiaries of the government’s flagship health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.

The change in policy has come as a boon not just for patients but also pharma companies looking to introduce various rare drug therapies in India.