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The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to the first generic version of the effective leukemic drug. the cancer drug is very expensive and costs about $10,000 a month.
The subsidiary of Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. was granted by US regulators the permission to sell Gleevec also known as imatinib mesylate in form of 100-milligram and 400-milligram pills for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia.
One of the top producers of generic medicines, Sun Pharmaceutical on Friday said that it will start selling the pill in the United States on February 1, the drug is supposed to be used once a day. However, the firm did not close how much would it charge for the cancer drug.
Gleevec was originally approved n the year 2003 and is developed and sold by the Swiss drugmaker Novartis. The drug was soon appreciated for its effectiveness and was deemed as a near-cure for the condition which was considered a universally fatal disease, now with the help for the medication the leukemia can be managed with long-term medication.
The drug has also been approved in various countries for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and various other types of cancer in both children and adults.
Sun Pharmaceuticals although has exclusive rights to sell this particular generic drug for a period of six months. The prices of the drug might drop afterwards if FDA approves the generic version of Gleevec by other drugmakers.
Gleevec which is also known as Glivec in some countries is Novartis’ major selling drug. Gleevec’s global sales for 2014 stood at $4.75 billion and almost $2.5 billion from the United States.