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Novartis, Thai Government Agree To Free Gleevec, No Push For Compulsory License

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Novartis and its regional headquarters in Thailand agreed to provide its Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) free to poorer cancer patients in the country in exchange for the government dropping its compulsory licensing threat. The outgoing public health minister who brokered the deal said he would like other drug makers to take similar steps or face compulsory licensing. The deal means Novartis is to offer free access to leukemia and gastrointestinal cancer patients under the universal health care plan and continue marketing the drug to Thais who can afford the market price. In Thailand, the market price is 20 times higher than a generic produced in India. (Click here for more
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