This electron microscope image provided by the National Institutes of Health in 2016 shows a blood cell altered by sickle cell disease.
| Photo Credit: AP

Delhi-based Akmus Drugs and Pharmaceutical Limited announced the development of a new drug for sickle cell disease on March 16.

The drug would be the country’s first indigenous, room temperature stable drug for sickle cell disease to be available at only 1% of the global price, it said. 

The pharma company is expected to provide the government the medicine for less than ₹600.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya welcomed the announcement, saying that the drug would help free India of sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disease that affects the entire life of a patient.

The development of the room temperature stable, oral suspension of Hydroxyurea is tailored specifically for patients battling sickle cell disease, spanning across all age groups, the pharma group said. Oral syringes would be provided for precise dosage administration.

The firm said that in contrast to the current import price of approximately ₹77,000 for the global brand of hydroxyurea solution (which necessitates storage at 2-8 degrees Celsius), Akmus would ensure access to affordable medication.

India has listed sickle cell disease as one of the 10 major problems that affect the tribal people disproportionately. The Central government recently announced the launch of a mission to eliminate sickle cell disease by 2047.

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