CMLPath to Care™

Partnership objectives

  1. Ensure access to Glivec and select other Novartis Oncology Products for patients in need.
  2. Guarantee effective management of the program.
  3. Support the drug distribution and tracking process.

The largest Novartis Oncology Access program – the Glivec International Patient Assistance Program – transitioned to CMLPath to Care™ in 2017. The largest Novartis Oncology Access program – the Glivec International Patient Assistance Program – transitioned to CMLPath to Care™ in 2017. Copyright NOVARTIS

What are the health needs and challenges?

There is a lack of access to and reimbursement for cancer treatment in low- and middle-income countries. 

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The Glivec International Patient Assistance Program (GIPAP) was developed in 2002 to ensure patients with CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) or GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor), two rare cancers, receive treatment. In partnership with The Max Foundation, this direct-to-patient access program has provided treatment to approximately 75 000 people since its inception.

In 2017, Novartis announced the transition of this partnership to a new program called CMLPath to Care™, which aims to support continued access to treatment at no cost for the nearly 34 000 previously registered patients in GIPAP with CML, GIST and other rare cancers.

CMLPath to Care™ provides Glivec at no cost to patients who would not otherwise have access to treatment. The program also provides patients with access to support groups, treatment and disease information, education and emotional support to help manage their illness.

The goal is to help people living with CML, GIST and other rare cancers by connecting them and their care givers with effective treatment, professional medical capabilities, trained physicians and hands-on support – based on GIPAP learnings.

This will be an independent program within The Max Foundation, which will assume responsibility from Novartis for delivering treatment to these patients, including supply chain management. Novartis will provide funding and drug donation support.

The collaborative agreement for CMLPath to Care runs through the first quarter of 2021 with an option to extend it. During this period, Novartis expects to donate more than USD 29 million to the collaboration, along with approximately 315 million doses of medicine, and to evaluate further options to sustain the program after 2021. China has a stand-alone program that support close to 30,000 patients for little or no costs.

Early engagement with governments is essential to the success of a program of this size and ambition. Equally important is clarity on the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved along with standard operating procedures to standardize processes across many disparate countries. Education on the program for physicians, governments, patients, distributors and others involved is also crucial.

The impact of the program is especially significant where local health authorities and civil organizations work together to improve facilities and educate patients and their families, thereby providing resources to offer integrated patient care. The partnership is active in 68 low and middle-income counties. 


Partnership information

Company(ies) Novartis

Partner(s) China Charity Federation, Max Foundation

Type of Partner(s) NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Cancer, Leukemia

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Product Donations, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Marginalised / Indigenous People, People with low income

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 68

Country(ies) Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 2017

More information Novartis 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report Novartis Oncology Patient Assistance

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« “The moment you think about a new drug, you need to start thinking about how to take it to the rest of the world. Of course there are limitations, but these should not be based on where the patient lives.” »

Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, CEO, The Max Foundation