Swiss pharma company, Novartis, surprised the global community by announcing that it would
distribute its revolutionary anti-cancer drug, Gleevec, free to patients who cannot afford
it. This move is applicable only to patients in the US.
The company said that it would give
away the Gleevec to any uninsured patient who earned less than $43,000 a year. People
earning as much as $100,000 will also receive heavy discounts.
Given its startling trial results,
Gleevec received approval for release in the US in just three months, nine months faster
Gleevec would normally cost
$2,000-$2,400 a month for patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia, a rare form of the
disease that causes a fatal overproduction of white blood cells.