Indigenous drug for sickle cell disease developed

News Excerpt:

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

About the newly developed drug:

  • 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.
  • Oral syringes would be provided for precise dosage administration.
  • 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.
    • The pharma company is expected to provide the government the medicine for less than ₹600.

About the Sickle cell anemia disease:

  • Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders that affect hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through the body. 
  • Normally, red blood cells are disc-shaped and flexible enough to move easily through the blood vessels. 
  • In sickle cell disease, red blood cells become crescent- or “sickle”-shaped due to a genetic mutation. 
    • These sickled red blood cells do not bend or move easily and can block blood flow to the rest of the body.
  • The blocked blood flow through the body can lead to serious problems, including stroke, eye problems, infections, and episodes of pain called pain crises.
  • Sickle cell disease is a lifelong illness. A bone marrow transplant is currently the only cure for sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell anemia in India:

  • According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, India is home to over 20 million patients with sickle cell disease.
  • It is more common in the tribal population of India, but occurs in non-tribals too. 
  • As per Census 2011, India has an 8.6% tribal population which is 67.8 million across the Indian states. 
  • The MoHFW tribal health expert committee report has listed sickle cell disease as one of the 10 special problems in tribal health that affect the tribal people disproportionately.

About National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission:

  • The National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Program, introduced in the Union Budget 2023, focuses on addressing the significant health challenges posed by sickle cell disease, particularly among tribal populations of the country.
  • Implemented in 17 high-focus states across the country, this program aims to improve the care and prospects of all sickle cell disease patients while reducing the prevalence of the disease. 
    • The 17 states are- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, and Uttarakhand.
  • The program is executed in a mission mode as part of the National Health Mission (NHM).
  • It aims to eliminate sickle cell genetic transmission by the year 2047, showing a long-term commitment to eradicating the disease.
  • Over a period of three years, spanning from the fiscal year 2023-24 to 2025-26, the program targets screening approximately 7.0 crore people. 


The development of an indigenous, room temperature stable drug for sickle cell disease marks a significant advancement in healthcare. This new drug offers a more accessible and affordable treatment option in India. With its potential to improve the quality of life for those with sickle cell disease, this development holds promise for better management of the condition and reduced healthcare burden.

Book A Free Counseling Session