New Delhi: Anti-cancer and anti-HIV drugs may become cheaper soon as the finance ministry is considering removing customs duty on these medicines in the Budget, a government official, who did not want to be named, said on Friday.
“The pharmaceuticals department has mooted a proposal with the finance ministry to fully exempt customs duty on anti-HIV and anti-cancer drugs in the forthcoming Budget. These drugs are too expensive and almost unaffordable for patients. The companies have to pass on the duty exemption benefit to patients,” the official said.
Currently, customs duty on anti-HIV and anti-cancer drugs varies up to 10%.
The pharmaceuticals department has also recommended continuing with the 4% excise duty on drugs this fiscal as well to sustain the 15% growth witnessed in the sector over the last two years, he said.