Leukemia: A Fast Growing Global Health Challenge in India

New Delhi, India – March 22, 2023 – According to a report from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, there were 474,519 new cases of leukemia worldwide in 2020, representing a 33.86% increase from 1990 when there were 354,500 cases. In the United States, leukemia was the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths, with 60,000 new cases and 24,000 deaths reported in 2020.

According to BonHoa Health, leukemia affected more than 30,000 people in 2022, with the disease being more prevalent among children and young adults. India ranks third in reported cases of leukemia after the United States and China. However, many cases go unreported due to limited access to healthcare and awareness.

India faces a significant gap in demand and supply due to factors such as the lack of a comprehensive health system, limited access to affordable healthcare in rural areas, a lack of awareness, a diverse gene pool, and misconceptions surrounding bone marrow donation. Current treatments for leukemia in India include drug-based therapy (Idelalisib cost in India and Ibrutinib price in India are much cheaper than developed countries) and bone marrow transplants, with efforts being made by the government to address the issue. Generic drugs have become a viable option in cases where the original medication is unavailable for various reasons.

One of the most effective treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia in India is Dasanat (DasatinibGeneric India), a kinase inhibitor produced by a leading pharmaceutical company which the price is only 8% of United States. Another qualified medicine, Acalabrutinib price in India has decreased by 90% in the last five years due to government initiatives. 

India still faces challenges unique to a developing country, with the mortality rate for leukemia being higher than in the West. However, research from the Indian Cooperative Oncology Network (ICON) indicates that the survival and quality of life for leukemia patients in India have improved over the years, particularly when treated in the early chronic phase.

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