You are here

Tasigna/Nilotinib U.S. patent expiration

Finally received a response from Novartis.  Looked but couldn't find the original thread on the issue.

Dear Mr xxxxxx,

Thank you for your interest in Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. We received your e-mail, and we appreciate you taking the time to contact us.

You requested information about when the U.S patent for Tasigna expires. We appreciate your inquiry.

The patent expires January 2024.


Customer Interaction Center
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
One Health Plaza
East Hanover, New Jersey 07936-1080

When the Glivec patent expired Novartis created their own generic of imatinib under the Sandoz label-Sandoz being the pharma company some decades ago  that merged with Ceba-Geigy to form Novartis.

You can surmise that this is a way in which Novartis still maintains some market share albeit of a drug priced a little below the orginal branded one.A pharmacist suggested to me that on expiry of a patent and with the introduction of generic products dont expect the price to come down that much in the early days of being launched onto the market-especially if only a few manufacturers respond to the opportunity to make and sell a new product.

It seems that that in USA big pharma will push up the price of the branded drug in the few years left before patent expiration and then pharma can bleed the insurers and the insurers can bleed the consumer/patient(on co pay schemes).Just before the expiration of the Glivec patent the drug was being charged out at over $100,000 per annum of the 400mg version.Different countries have very variable and different price levels it seems.

In the UK the National Health Service and certain hospital groups will do special and confidential deals with a generic manufacturer.



In 2001, Gleevec was introduced into the U.S. market at a price of $26,000/year.   By February, 2016 when the Imatinib generic was introduced, Gleevec was over $140,000/year.

In a confidential agreement between Novartis and the generic company Sun Pharmaceuticals, generic imatinib was delayed for 6 months beyond the Gleevec patent expiration date, from July 2015 until February 2016. When generic imatinib finally entered the U.S. market in February 2016, with Sun having a sole distributorship for the first six months, it was priced at about $140,000/year.  In August, 2016, Teva and Apotex joined in the manufacture of Imatinib with little effect on the price.  It took four years and numerous additional manufacturers before the price of Imatinib came down to a somewhat affordable level for Medicare recipients, but even then that affordable price was only available though selective insurers and pharmacies.

When generic Tasigna enters the U.S. market a similar experience can be expected.