Colombia Technical Committee Recommends Declaration that a Compulsory License on Imatinib (Gleevec) Would Be in Public Interest

(More on Colombia here: /colombia)

In Colombia, a technical committee has issued a recommendation that a declaration be made that a compulsory license on imatinib (Gleevec) would be in the public interest. Under Colombian law, this is an important intermediary step prior to the actual grant of a compulsory license.

KEI applauds this recommendation. There is no justification for Novartis’s excessive price of Imatinib in Colombia — over $15,000 USD per patient per year, almost double the GNI per capita, for a drug that earned the Swiss drug company some $42 Billion in sales through the end of 2014.

The initial request for the compulsory license was made by IFARMA, CIMUN, and Mision Salud in November of 2014.

In the recommendation, the technical committee tasked with making a determination as to whether to move forward stated that the high prices of the drug and the budget constraints of the health system guided their decision.

The next step in this process, according to the recommendation, is for a price negotiation between Colombia and Novartis, which may obviate the need for the compulsory license.

For other KEI materials on this compulsory license, see this blog and this article published in IP-Watch.