Imatinib

Imatinib (GlivecÒ, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd) was the first TKI to be developed (first generation drug). Its 10-year patent expired in December 2016. Generic (non-branded) versions of imatinib can now be manufactured and sold by many pharmaceutical companies. Novartis Pharmaceuticals are still making imatinib as Glivec, but it is sold at a much lower price given the competition.

Imatinib is approved for:

  • Newly-diagnosed CML patients
  • Patients in the chronic phase of CML following failure of treatment with interferon-alpha
  • Patients in the accelerated or blast phases
  • Imatinib is the most popular drug for initial treatment because of the vast experience with its use.
  • It is usually clear within three to six months of starting treatment with a TKI if it is going to be effective. If not, patients can switch to another TKI.
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