The existing concept of EMIs just got extended while considering purchasing life saving drugs or paying for expensive medical procedures.
This news is a part of an initiative by leading pharma companies to innovatively market their expensive products, and as a result make access to critical medical devices like stents and implants less complicated.
At the implementation level, many firms are reported to be approaching financial institutions as a step forward in this direction. It will help the consumers avail short term loans, or pay in installments for expensive drugs like cancer and cardiovascular medicines too.
Many multinational pharmaceutical companies are participating in this form of marketing their products, especially in the product categories of oncology, cardiovascular or anti-diabetes medicines. This helps in addressing one of the many hurdles which act as a deterrent for patients to get the right treatment- besides the prevailing issue of lack of awareness and inappropriate diagnosis.
One such company is Glenmark Pharma which offers its drug Abirapro -used in treatment of prostrate cancer, and anti-breast cancer drug Evermil – on EMI. The therapy for Abirapro costs anywhere between Rs 25000-30000 per month and Evermil is priced at RS 15000-24,000 per month. These drugs to be used for a long treatment can be availed at a convenient payment option of 3 months, 6 months and 9 months for these drugs.
As implied by Sujesh Vasudevan, President and Head – India Business at Glenmark, such flexible payment options helps the company in achieving its focus on oncology as a therapeutic segment. It is in line with the company’s commitment to expand its cancer patient base and add value in their lives.
As further reported by the TOI, another leading health care company, Medtronic, which develops and manufactures medical devices to treat chronic diseases, has partnered with Maitrika Foundation for its ‘Healthy Heart for All’ programme, which offers all Medtronic heart devices, such as stents, implantable pacemakers, cathode ray tubes and even complex devices like heart valves and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, on EMIs.
According to a Medtronic spokesperson, patients can access a device by paying 15% of the cost and remaining cost gets financed through easy monthly installments plans for repayment wherein the installment can be starting from as low as Rs 1,000 per month.
Company executives say such loans are generally processed within 1-2 days because mostly patients are in dire need and cannot wait for very long.
Such schemes have already started gaining popularity among patients and care-givers. Medtronic, which started its scheme with a pilot project in Durgapur (West Bengal) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) in 2010, has now scaled up to 30 cities and have partnered with 120 hospitals. In last five years, the company under the scheme has disbursed around 550 loans. Medtronic is now also planning to extend similar EMI options for some other disease.