Cancer institute ties up with Novartis to aid poor patients

April 13th, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Coimbatore, April 13 (IANS) A premier cancer research institute distributed free dosages of an oncology drug here Monday under an arrangement with multinational pharmaceutical major Novartis.
“The first patient has been administered Glivec, an expensive drug that costs Rs.150,000 per month per patient, free-of-cost under an arrangement with Novartis. It’s part of the therapy of patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukaemia,” P. Guhan, director of Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Oncology Research (SRIOR), told reporters.

“The malignancy caused by the presence of philadelphia chromosome in the body is normally found in people in the 30-60 age group. Untreated, the malady claims its victim within 7 years, but the daily intake of a Glivec tablet will help patients live long reducing the disease’s effects,” Guhan added.

Under the auspices of ‘Glivec-Patient Assistance Programme,’ (G-PAP) SRIOR and Novartis have agreed to administer the drug freely to three patients. The numbers may go up later, a press statement issued by Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, which runs SRIOR, said.

The hospital was founded by the scions of S.N. Rangasamy Naidu, a local industrialist in 1970 in this textile town, 500 km southwest of Chennai with the primary objective of treating poor patients.

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