Bio Farma to sell more affordable breast cancer drugs
The Jakarta Post
State-owned vaccine producer Bio Farma plans to sell more affordable drugs for breast cancer patients as compared to the current drugs on the market.
Senior researcher at Bio Farma Erman Tritama said on Sunday that the research and development team had been creating a biosimilar drug that would be released to the market by 2019.
The firm planned to sell the biosimilar drug, a biological product, which is made from tissue, cell, DNA and protein of living creatures, cheaper than biosimilar drugs produced by Swiss health-care firm Roche, which sells similar drug for about Rp 25 million (US$ 1,873) per dose.
Bio Farma plans to sell its version 30 percent cheaper than the current price, which is at Rp 7.5 million.
“Biosimilar drugs for breast cancer have been patented for 19 years and the patent right will expire in 2019,” Erman said as quoted by antaranews.com.
Biosimilar drugs for breast cancer contain trastuzumab, which is used to streamline the chemotherapy process by reducing the side effects of the procedure and accelerating the healing process. Biosimilar drugs are used at least five times during the treatment, which means a patient needs to pay for at least Rp 125 million worth of biosimilar drugs.
He added that Indonesia needed to prepare to release the drug as other companies from other countries are also preparing to release the drug in 2019.
“We have to be fast, which is one of the ways to compete to sell it at a cheaper price,” Erman added.
Bio Farma also has been developing cheaper vaccines for typhoid and pneumonia. (rdi/rin)
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