We tried to find out how much cancer treatment costs have gone up, and were surprised to find that the cost of a single cycle of basic chemotherapy for stage 1 cancer has actually gone down over the past 10 years. A decade ago, it would cost about Rs. 10,000 at a government hospital and Rs. 25,000 at a private one.
This figure has come down to Rs. 3,000 for government hospitals and Rs. 8,000 for private ones. However, the cost is highly dependent on the kind and stage of cancer. So, what is it that bloats the bills? Tests and supportive drugs. The number of tests prescribed depends on doctors. The market for cancer drugs is a highly fragmented one, with locally made alternatives being cheaper than imported ones.
(This story appears in the 02 December, 2011 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)