Novartis Prepares for "Explosion" of Gleevec Copycats

February 3, 2016

February 03, 2016.

Novartis has forecast losing around $2.5 billion of its annual sales when companies rush on board to market generic versions of cancer wonder drug Gleevec later this year.

The first generic copy of Gleevec was launched in the US this week by Sun Pharmaceuticals.​  The price of the generic will be roughly $60,000 for a year’s course, $30,000 cheaper than the branded drug. Gleevec had the largest market share among cancer drugs in the US in 2015, with Novartis posting $4.7 billion in global revenue 

Novartis's chief financial officer, Harry Kirsch, said that there is likely to be "an explosion of copycat Gleevec generics" after Sun Pharma's 180 days of marketing exclusivity has elapsed. 

With the ‘genericisation’ of Gleevec in Europe following on the heels of the US, Kirch believes the overall impact of sales could be $3.2 billion.