Colombia to force Novartis to lower prices of cancer drugs ;
The government of Colombia will force unilaterally world’s biggest drugmaker Novartis to lower prices a popular leukemia drug in a patent dispute closely, authorities said Thursday.
Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria told reporters two weeks of negotiations with the Swiss company had ended without an agreement. As a result, he is following through on a threat to declare the drug Gleevec in the public interest, the first step to break the monopoly of Novartis in the South American nation.
“Negotiations are definitely over,” Gaviria said, adding that the resolution to be published in the coming days is likely to demand lower for the drug prices but not pull open production to generic rivals as originally contemplated he said .
Gleevec has been the top-selling drug of Novartis since 2012, bringing in $ 4.7 billion worldwide last year, or about 10 percent of total company revenue. It will not be the best selling much longer, though. Gleevec has generic competition on 1 February in the US, which accounts for half of its sales. In Colombia, the patent expires in July 2018.
dispute increasingly public drug manufacturer with US ally Colombia on its patent has drawn attention by fears of pharmaceutical industry that Colombia’s decision will set a precedent for countries middle income grip to contain the rising prices of complex drugs. Memos written by diplomats from the Embassy of Colombia and filtered the nonprofit Knowledge Ecology International described the group pressure intense pressure from the pharmaceutical industry and its allies in the US Congress to avoid touching a legal mechanism to consider It should only be used in case of epidemics and public health emergencies .
In a note, the embassy warns that the breakdown of the Novartis patent for Gleevec could hurt US support Colombia’s bid to join the trade zone Trans-Pacific Partnership proposed and even jeopardize $ 450 million in US assistance for a peace agreement with leftist rebels. The notes followed meetings between Colombian diplomats and officials from the Office of the US Trade Representative, and a member of the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee, whose chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, it has close ties with the pharmaceutical industry.
But shares of Colombia have also attracted much praise from the World Health Organization and public health experts concerned about access to vital medicines and public health systems overburdened like Colombia.
Novartis said in a statement that has actively sought a solution that benefits patients, innovation and health system of Colombia. It is said to be already subject to price controls in Colombia and rejects the government’s claim that competition does not exist.
“Novartis never close the door to a solution that benefits the parties and especially patients in Colombia,” he said.
shares in Colombia are being motivated by a serious deficit in the system public health , which deals with all of the poor. The cost for treatment with Gleevec is about $ 15,000 a year, or about double the income of the average worker in Colombia. According to a study conducted by the ministry, without generic competition, the government would have to pay an extra $ 15 million a year supply of Gleevec.
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