Sunny Days Ahead for Cancer Patients

Gleevec’s generic version gets go ahead

Sunny Days Ahead for Cancer Patients

New Delhi, December 8: Public good has decisively triumphed over monopolistic drug pricing by pharma companies. Sun Pharma, the biggest Indian medicine major, has got permission to manufacture generic version of Gleevec, a cancer drug used most in cancer treatment.

It is expected make this drug dog cheap to the great relief of cancer patients who can ill afford it currently.  So, cancer patients (especially of myeloid leukemia) globally can look ahead for sunny days, thanks to American drug regulator FDA.

In case of Gleevec, it is the second triumph of advocates of cheap cancer treatment. Earlier, Supreme Court of India averted the patent of this drug by Novartis to monopolize its sale and pricing. The apex court gave verdict in favor of patients.

American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given go ahead for its generic version to Sun Pharma. Consequent upon this, Gleevec’s generic version will be launched on February 1, 2016. In America the sale of this drug grosses annually at more than .25 trillion dollar.  This drug has been found very effective in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia. One Sun Pharma affiliate had earlier sought permission for manufacturing its generic version.

Sun Pharma is the first company to get this permission, making it one up on other pharma companies making plans for this. Dr. Reddy’s laboratories also have come to a settlement with Novartis for making this drug’s generic version.

In USA, this drug comes in a pack of 100mg and 400 mg. In America, a cancer patient has to cough up 9000 dollar every month but its generic version will become dog cheap, though Sun Pharma is yet to disclose its cost.  D. Shah, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceuticals, has said, ‘Given the vast market of Gleevec, it is a windfall opportunity for Sun Pharma. Such permission has become the order of the day of late.’

According to the figures of Bloomberg, Novartis had grossed 4.7 billion dollar income last year over the sale of Gleevec. The permission has given 6 percent boost to Sun Pharma’s shares.

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