The Glivec International Patient Assistance Programme: The Nairobi experience

  • GW Kiarie
  • NA Othieno-Abinya
  • MS Riyat


Glivec is a drug used in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISI). It is an expensive drug which would be out of reach for most patients in Kenya. Norvatis Pharmaceutical together with Axios International a healthcare management company and Max Foundation have made it possible for patients in developing countries to get access to the drug at no cost. Patients meet the cost of the confirmatory test and are recruited into the programme to receive the drug at no cost. A total of 201 patients are in the programme in Nairobi, mainly drawn from Kenyatta National Hospital the major referral hospital in Kenya. The age range is nine years to 75 years with a mean age of 39.5 years. Males make up 56.5% while females are 43.5%. CML are 173 (86%) while GIST patients are 28 (13.9%). Most of the CML cases are referred in the chronic stable phase (87.8%) and 85.7% have been on hydroxyurea as the initial treatment. Compliance rates are approximately 80%.

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eISSN: 0012-835X