On 17th February 2016, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in a notification restored import duty exemption on three drugs including Anti Haemophilic Factor Concentrate (VIII and IX). Strenuous lobbying, particularly by Hemophilia Federation (India) has forced the govt. to revoke the raised customs duty. Earlier in a notification dated 2nd February 2016, the Centre had announced withdrawal of the exemption on customs duty on certain imported drugs, including Anti Hemophilia Factor VIII & IX.
This decision caused a lot of furore among the Hemophilia Community and patients of other life-threatening diseases. Most importantly, the Hemophilia Community demonstrated their protest against the move most effectively through electronic, print and social media. Hence effectively bringing the focus and intervention of Prime Minister's Office on the matter.
On 9th February 2016, the PMO held a meeting and discussed the possibilities of revoking the duties and instructed both the health ministry, and the DoP to engage in impact assessment.
Meanwhile Hemophilia Federation (India) kept up its lobbying momentum through various television debates on national news channels such as NDTV and Times Now. Mr. Rupal Panchal, Interim VP Finance, HFI and a Hemophilia patient himself represented and voiced the concerns of the hemophilia com-munity in several debates consisting eminent anchors, govt. spokesperson and representatives of pharmaceutical lobby.
Thousands belonging to hemophilia community also turned up in full strength on social media against the government order. Together they launched an online campaign, signed and shared an online petition under the hash tag ‪#‎righttolive‬ to withdraw import duty on Anti Hemophilic Factors.
Many members of HFI, its patients, volunteers and doctors each in their individual capacity kept the constant discussions and engage-ment going on with government officials and political leaders.

Another useful progress was made in a meeting with Shri Hon'ble Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Naddaji on 14th February 2016 at Aluva, Cochin by HFI delegation headed by Mr. Vikash Goyal, Vice President (Development), HFI and Mr. E. Raghunandanan, RCC South, HFI along with Mrs. Rema Raghunandanan, Mr. Vinod Kr. (Representative Cochin Chapter), Mr. Jimmy Manuel (Representative, Trivendrum Chapter) and Dr. Ajith Kumar (Calicut Chapter). They discussed with the minister and gave him a petition requesting restoring of customs duty exemption on Anti Hemophilic Factors. The union minister gave them a positive assurance and said that AHF is one of the 6-7 drugs the govt. is considering to include in exempted list. He was also requested to list Hemophilia under NHM.
Furthermore Mr. Vikash Goyal informed him about World Hemophilia Day being celebrated by HFI on 18th April 2016 and requested him to grace the occasion as Chief Guest. Finally, the various interactions at top level, advocacy initiatives and engaging the policy makers early by hemophilia volunteers succeeded them in persuading the government to revoke its decision. This achievement once again substantiate the fact that the whenever HFI has campaigned as a cohesive unit, it has yielded the results in favour of its community.

Soon after the goverment's notification of waiving off customs duty on factors, Dr. Kanjaksha Ghosh (President, HFI) on behalf of the hemophilia community wrote thanks letter to Hon'ble Minister H&FW and Finance Minister for this very act of providing relief to all the hemophilia patients in India. He also appreciated the "Make in India" initiative of govt. and said that this concept will produce excellent export quality factor concentrated in adequate amount and will make import of these material unnecessary yet without strong financial and other support of the government to Plasma and Recombinant product industry, for some period of time this is unlikely to happen.

He also reiterated his old request that government should financially help all the State Governments to develop and setup good coagulation laboratory at least up-to the level of district hospitals.
Such a laboratory will not only help in diagnosis and management of hemophilia but will also save on costly factor concentrates by its rational use. In addition, it will save thousands of snakebite victims and many more cases where bleeding either due to surgery, child birth or due to some viral infection or systemic diseases cause death or unacceptable morbidity.