Sandoz announced the launch of the generic oncology medicine gefitinib indicated for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with activating mutations of EGFR-TK, which is recommended by ESMO as first-line treatment. The medicine will become available immediately in 13 countries across Europe on the day the reference medicine loses market exclusivity. Sandoz will continue to expand to other countries through a phased rollout.
“Generics help expand access to medicine, sometimes as much as doubling the amount of patients treated without any increase in cost,”
said Francesco Balestrieri, ad interim CEO, Sandoz.
“At Sandoz, we recognize that oncology still lags behind seven other therapeutic areas that already benefit from considerable generic competition. The day one launch of generic gefitinib, seen by oncology experts as an essential treatment, is part of a wider Sandoz effort to change that equation.”
In Europe lung cancer is the fourth most common cancer in both women and men, only exceeded by breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. Each year approximately 312,000 patients are diagnosed with lung cancer. Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is any type of epithelial lung cancer other than small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and accounts for approximately 80% to 85% of all lung cancers cases.