Multiple generic forms of GLEEVEC® (imatinib mesylate) are now available, which means the pharmacy will be allowed to switch a patient’s current branded GLEEVEC medication to a generic form. A generic may appear different from branded GLEEVEC in characteristics such as pill shape, size, and color. In addition, now that there are multiple generic versions of GLEEVEC, pill appearance may vary from month to month, depending on which generic the pharmacy has in stock. However, even though the generic pill may appear different, the FDA requires that generic medications contain the same active ingredient as the brand name, and that they function comparably in the human body.
A drug product that is comparable to a brand/reference listed drug product in dosage, form, strength, route of administration, quality and performance characteristics, and intended use.
- US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Who provides a generic form of GLEEVEC?
In February 2016, the first FDA-approved generic form of GLEEVEC became available in the United States. Since that time, other manufacturers have been granted approval to produce generic forms of GLEEVEC.
What is my patient's out-of-pocket cost for a generic form of GLEEVEC?
Medication costs for patients can vary based on a variety of factors, such as insurance coverage and/or government assistance programs, and the costs set by the manufacturer.
Will the pharmacist switch a patient's branded GLEEVEC prescription?
The pharmacy may substitute a generic in place of branded GLEEVEC.
If a patient receives a generic form of GLEEVEC, will it look the same as GLEEVEC?
A generic will appear different from GLEEVEC in characteristics such as pill shape, size, and color. In addition, now that there are multiple generic versions of GLEEVEC, pill appearance may vary from month to month, depending on which generic the pharmacy has in stock. However, even though the generic pill may appear different, the FDA requires that generic medications contain the same active ingredient as the brand name, and that they function comparably in the human body.
Has the out-of-pocket cost of branded GLEEVEC changed now that multiple generics are available?
A patient’s out-of-pocket costs may change based on their insurance plan design, or from other factors, which can change through the year. Novartis plans to continue financial support for eligible patients (including a $10 co-pay* offer for eligible, commercially insured patients). Limitations apply. See full terms and conditions. Other financial assistance may also be available.
Can the GLEEVEC Co-Pay* Card be used to cover the cost of generics?
No. The GLEEVEC $10 Co-Pay* Card is only available to eligible, commercially insured patients to cover the cost of their branded GLEEVEC prescription.
Are there co-pay cards available for generic forms of GLEEVEC?
Please contact the drug manufacturers with questions related to generic imatinib mesylate.
What are my options if I want a patient to receive branded GLEEVEC rather than a generic?
If you decide that branded GLEEVEC is right for your patient, you can take these steps to ensure they receive it at every refill:
- Include "Dispense as Written" (DAW), or your state or territory's required language, on the prescription. - Inform your patient that while they are at the pharmacy, or while placing a prescription mail order, they should verify with the pharmacist that the doctor's preference is for branded GLEEVEC.
A patient's insurance plan is an important factor in determining their out-of-pocket expenses for branded and generic medications. In addition, costs can be affected by statutes related to a state or territory’s specific DAW requirements. Note that there may be a difference in cost between branded GLEEVEC and generics.
Will all pharmacies stock branded GLEEVEC?
Novartis is committed to making sure branded GLEEVEC is available, but we can’t control what medications individual pharmacies stock. If a patient’s pharmacy doesn’t stock branded GLEEVEC, they can ask the pharmacy to special order it, which usually can be delivered in a day.
What if my patient's insurance provider changes the status of GLEEVEC, and this medication is no longer covered or he or she is denied at the pharmacy?
If this occurs, your patient can initiate an appeal with his or her insurance provider. You and your patient can learn more about the steps required to file an appeal by clicking here. Please note that an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of coverage and if successful, a patient's appeal may result in a change in out-of-pocket costs from what he or she has paid in the past.
*Limitations apply. This offer is not valid under Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state program, for cash-paying patients, or for Massachusetts residents. Patient pays first $10 co-pay on a 30-day supply, and the program will pay up to $10,630 per 30-day supply up to an annual max of $30,000. Novartis reserves the right to rescind, revoke, or amend this program without notice. For the most up-to-date terms and conditions, visit Terms and Conditions or call 1-866-GLEEVEC (453-3832).
*For more detailed study information, please see full Prescribing Information.
†Numbers indicate the range of percentages in 4 studies among patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ CML, patients in blast crisis, in accelerated phase, and in the chronic phase after failure of interferon-alpha therapy.