30 March 2023 | News | By Bhagwati Prasad
Today medicines are accessible for liver transplant surgeries as there are 7 to 8 manufacturing companies in India: Dr Aabha Nagral
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With only 3000 liver transplants done every year out of the 40,000 liver transplants required to be done in the country, medicines used in liver transplant surgeries are affordable and accessible to plug the huge demand supply gap, according to experts.
According to Dr Aabha Nagral, Chief Hepatologist, Jaslok Hospital, “Today medicines are available and accessible for liver transplant surgeries as there are around 7 to 8 manufacturing companies in India like Emcure, Cipla and Panacea due to which there is cost competitiveness. Medicines were expensive a few decades back as they used to be imported from Singapore and other countries for liver transplant surgeries at Medanta and other centres way back in the late 90s."
There are 8,000 kidney transplants done annually and 600 heart transplants annually in India which reveals the yawning gap.
“During COVID-19, most of the transplant patients continued to get the medicines and getting blood levels off the medicines, which we need to draw on a regular basis, are also very easily affordable and available now,” Dr Aabha Nagral added.
“More and more insurance companies are giving medical cover for transplants and the medical costs are reimbursed. These days, even robotic surgeries are being covered under the health insurance,” according to a transplant expert.
The latest Robotic Donor Hepatectomy, performed by a trained surgeon, is the best available technology to the patient. It requires a team of 35 specialists. With this, the overall surgery and treatment duration has shrunk from 4 to 5 weeks to 3 to 4 weeks. The features of this unique surgery includes no infections, painless, scarless, faster recovery, better scar and cosmosis, acceptability and patient safety as compared to open surgery.