BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s government is unilaterally forcing pharmaceutical giant Novartis to lower prices of a popular leukemia drug.
Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria told reporters Thursday that two weeks of negotiations with Novartis had ended without an agreement on lowering prices.
As a result he’s drafting a resolution that in the coming days will declare the drug Gleevec in the public’s interest. Gaviria said the resolution will most likely lower prices of the medicine but not throw open production to generic rivals.
Gleevec has been Novartis’ top-selling drug since 2012. The drugmaker’s increasingly public feud with Colombia over its patent has drawn attention because of fear in the pharmaceutical industry that U.S. ally Colombia’s decision will set a precedent for middle-income countries grappling to contain rising prices for complex drugs.
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