Currently, less than 50 percent of cancer drugs on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines are available in low- and middle-income countries, and with the disease increasing, three out of every four cancer deaths are expected to occur in these countries over the next decade.
In a first tangible step for the Get On Oncology coalition, Novartis has licensed leukemia drug nilotinib to the United Nations Drug Patent Pool to allow manufacturers of equivalent drug combinations to produce it on a large scale and at a lower cost.
The coalition said it had previously shared the technology used to make HIV and COVID-19 drugs in this way, but that nilotinib is the first drug for a non-communicable disease given to the pool.
The International Union against Cancer, an important partner of the coalition, stated that the coalition seeks not only to provide medicines, but also to train support and diagnostic methods, according to “Reuters”.
The alliance will start with $32 million from the private sector and will initially focus on capacity building activities in ten low- and middle-income countries and the development of existing initiatives.