Original vs generic drugs in treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia
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The beginning of the twenty-first century saw a breakthrough in haematology, oncology and general medicine driven by the introduction of imatinib (Glivec) to the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia. For the first time, a neoplastic disease was successfully treated by a therapy targeting the genetic cause of the disease. At present, targeted therapy based on imatinib is the first one to enter a new stage which is the launch of generic drugs. Poland is the first country in the European Union which, from the beginning of July 2014, introduced generic imatinib. Hence, there is no reliable data on its use except for results from bioequivalence tests. The only data available comes from developing countries where other preparations are used, without reliable bioequivalence studies. However, all generic drugs of imatinib registered in Poland have successfully passed such tests. Undoubtedly, it is necessary to appropriately monitor patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia receiving generic drugs in order to ensure their safety and provide information to other countries where therapy based on generic drugs will be introduced in the following years.
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