Duties exempted on 3 drugs

New Delhi

Due to public pressure , octreotide, somatropin and anti-haemophilic factor concentrate (VIII and IX) exempted from custom duties. The government had removed the custom duty on 76 life-saving drugs on February 5. Consequently, out of 76 drugs, customs duty on 15 increased from zero to 35 per cent and on other 61 drugs, the duty rose from five per cent to 10 per cent, respectively. However, after strong protests by patients suffering from haemophilia, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) issued a notification on Wednesday restoring the custom duty exemptions on anti- haemophilic factor concentrate (VIII and IX). Octreotide and somatropin were a part of the 61 drugs list where the duty rose from 5 to 10 per cent. Now with the CBEC notification, they will have a duty of five per cent again. Octreotide is used to treat hormonal disorder, besides symptoms of severe diarrhoea and flushing caused by cancer. Somatropin is used to treat growth failure in children and adults, who lack natural growth hormone. It is also used to treat chronic kidney failure. Anti-haemophilic factor concentrate (VIII and IX) is used to treat heamophilia, which is a genetic bleeding disorder involving a lack of functional clotting

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