In 2014, public health advocates in Colombia asked the government to issue a compulsory license on imatinib, an expensive leukemia drug marketed there by Novartis at a price almost twice the Colombian per capita income.

The Colombian Minister of Health, Alejandro Gaviria, indicated in April 2016 that he would declare a compulsory license to be in the public interest, one of the steps in issuing a compulsory license in Colombia.

Knowledge Ecology International leaked documents in May 2016 after news reports indicated that the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and U.S. Trade Representative were pressuring the Colombian government to not grant the compulsory license.

Below are links to other blogs and reports involving Colombia.

More detailed background is here.

James Love and Andrew S. Goldman. Colombia Asked To Declare Excessive Price For Cancer Drug Contrary To Public Interest, Grounds For Compulsory License. IP-Watch. December 3, 2015.

Novartis sales of Gleevec/Glivec (INN: Imatinib), 2002 to 2016:Q1. Table here in html, xlsx.

  • Background FAQ on Glivec (imatinib) compulsory license in Colombia
  • News reports on Senator Hatch pressure over Colombia compulsory license on Novartis drug
  • 122 experts defend Colombia’s right to issue compulsory license on imatinib in face of U.S. pressure
  • 15 House Dems Press USTR to Clarify Position on Compulsory Licensing of cancer drug patent in Colombia
  • 28 Organizations Ask President Obama to Support Colombian Compulsory License on Expensive Leukemia Drug
  • Press Advisory: NGO letters to WHO & WTO on Dutch seizures of generic medicines in-transit from India to Brazil, Colombia & Peru
  • Colombia Ministry of Health Announces that Price Reduction of Glivec Finalized — Down 45%
  • April 27, 2016 Letter from Colombian Embassy regarding Senate Finance, USTR pressure on Novartis compulsory license
  • April 28, 2016 letter regarding US Senate Finance threats over compulsory license on Novartis cancer drug patents
  • Biden presses Colombia to block biosimilar drugs
  • Colombia Issues Public Interest Declaration To Lower Price of Glivec
  • Colombia Ministry of Health Announces that Negotiations With Novartis Have Failed; Declaration of Public Interest Imminent
  • Colombia Technical Committee Recommends Declaration that a Compulsory License on Imatinib (Gleevec) Would Be in Public Interest
  • Colombia finalizes 44% price reduction of leukemia drug Glivec
  • Colombia takes an important step in defining the public interest in compulsory licensing case
  • FOIA documents. In 2015 Novartis asked U.S. Dept of Commerce to Pressure Colombia Against Compulsory License on Glivec
  • Letter from KEI, Public Citizen, Oxfam America and Health GAP to Senator Hatch, regarding Colombia Compulsory License
  • Novartis complaints over public interest declaration debunked
  • Senator Hatch Defends Pressure on Colombia in Interview Regarding Imatinib
  • Senator Hatch, before pressuring Colombia over cancer drug compulsory license, wanted one for Napster
  • Sens. Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders send letter to USTR condemning pressure on Colombia compulsory license for cancer drug
  • Switzerland pressures Colombia to deny compulsory license on imatinib
  • US Chamber of Commerce defends Swiss drug company charging excessive prices in Colombia
  • WHA 69: Colombian Minister of Health Calls on WHO to Support the Regulation of Drug Monopolies
  • WHO to Colombia Minister of Health: Unaffordable drug prices are a legitimate reason for issuing a compulsory license
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