Transplant drugs may become cheaper

Transplant drugs may become cheaper

During a panel discussion on organ donation organised by the Columbia Asia Hospital on Friday, Dr H C Ramesh, deputy director (Medical), said he has requested the State Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice S R Nayak to push the cause.

Immuno-suppressant drugs came to the fore after it was found that in around 90 per cent of cases of organ transplant, the tissue samples of relatives who agreed to donate did not match the recipient, explained Ramesh. To prevent the body from rejecting the organ, the patients were put on immuno-suppressant drugs, which unfortunately have to be taken for life.


Interestingly, initiatives were taken at Institute of Nephrourology, where patients were charged Rs 1.5 lakh. Of the sum, Rs one lakh was the cost of surgery and and Rs 50,000 was to supply drugs for patients over a period of six months. The drugs were 30 to 35 per cent less than the MRP price.  "If this system can be replicated in other transplant centres, It would be of great help to post transplant patients," Ramesh said.

For encouraging donation of other organs, he said creation of banks of other organs should be mde mandatory as in in the case of eye banks in medical colleges. Karnataka has 40 medical colleges and an equal number of eye banks.

He also remarked that the state was trying to introduce laws that are in vogue in Tamil Nadu. "I hope we get celebrity multi organ donors so that  the message about organ donation spreads like wildfire," he said.

Authorisation committees

Ace cricketer Anil Kumble who was present said: “In Test cricket, the second innings is as vital and important as the first innings. Hence, I want more people to come forward for this cause as their seconding innings will benefit the first innings of many.”

The State recently sanctioned three new authorisation committees to decentralise and simplify the process organ transplantation. While Manipal Hospital got sanction two months ago to set up its own authorisation committee, Columbia Asia Hospital and the State level Authorisation Committee was formed a fortnight ago.

The hospitals were given the sanction as they have carried out more than 25 organ transplants. To monitor these committees, the Health secretary and director will be part of it.