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Colombia to enforce declaration of public interest for Glivec Posted 28/10/2016

Colombia’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MinSalud) confirmed on 14 September 2016 that it was to enforce a declaration of public interest and cut the prices for blockbuster cancer drug Glivec (imatinib) by 45%.

The move has prompted industry organizations, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to condemn the move. PhRMA has expressed disappointment, saying that there are ‘no legitimate reasons’ for the move. While NAM believes the move is ‘unwarranted, but also undermines [Colombia’s] own economic growth trajectory’. PhRMA adds that ‘the enforcement of a declaration of public interest as a mechanism to impose superfluous price controls sets a harmful global precedent, undermining the incentives that enable high-risk research and development investments in life-saving medical innovation and a host of other cutting-edge industries.’

The move by Colombia’s MinSalud follows the recommendation by a committee of the Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection that a compulsory license be issued for Glivec [1]. The country later appealed to the World Health Organization (WHO) and received a sympathetic reception. On 23 May 2016 at the WHO Assembly in Geneva Colombia’s Minister of Health Alejandro Gaviria said that the sustainable development of countries like Colombia was being threatened by the high prices of necessary drugs [2].

PhRMA, however, insists that ‘the way to achieve access to medicines is not through compromising incentives for innovation but by leveraging the collective abilities, strengths and resources of all stakeholders to improve health outcomes’.

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References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Colombia recommends compulsory licence for Glivec [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2016 Oct 28]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Policies-Legislation/Colombia-recommends-compulsory-licence-for-Glivec
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Colombia fighting to break Glivec monopoly [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2016 Oct 28]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Policies-Legislation/Colombia-fighting-to-break-Glivec-monopoly

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Source: MinSalud, NAM, PhRMA, RCNRadio

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