Cervical cancer vaccine should be cheaper: Nobel laureate

December 2nd, 2009 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 2 (IANS) With cervical cancer the second most common cancer among women worldwide, Nobel laureate in medicine Harald zur Hausen Wednesday said here that the cost of vaccination in India should undergo drastic reduction to make this life-saving vaccine available to a maximum number of people.
“The cost of vaccination for cervical cancer is still very expensive in India. Its price needs to be drastically reduced, especially in countries like India, where the risk of this disease is threatening,” Hausen told an interactive session organised here by the Cancer Foundation of India (CFI).

“I think more number of companies should come up and they must make the price of this vaccine more affordable for common people,” Hausen added.

He suggested that the screening for cervical cancer could be done through private-public partnership to penetrate the larger section of our society.

In India only two private companies are dealers of the vaccine which cost Rs.9,000 for three doses over a period of six months.

“Cervical cancer is the second most fatal form of cancer worldwide after breast cancer, and now it is soon turning to be the first major concern. Vaccines are needed to be taken by even those women who have not started being sexually active,” he said.

Cervical cancer at present is the second most common cancer among women worldwide with more than 0.5 million new cases and 260,000 deaths per year globally. Of these, almost 80 percent cases occur in lower and middle income countries.

It has been estimated that unless preventive measures are implemented soon, more than one million new cervical cancer cases would be diagnosed every year globally.

According to figures available, India registers 130,000 new cases and more than 70,000 deaths every year due to cervical cancer.

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