The survival of patients enrolled in a global direct-to-patient cancer medicine donation program: The Glivec International Patient Assistance Program (GIPAP)
Umeh, Chukwuemeka Anthony
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The Glivec International Patient Assistance Program (GIPAP) is a unique direct-to-patient program that provides imatinib (Glivec) at no cost to eligible patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). This paper analyses the output, outcome and impact of the program between 2001 and 2014 using the data collected by the Max Foundation. Method: We extracted data on GIPAP patients’ country of residence, sex, diagnosis, date of enrollment in GIPAP, age at enrollment, case closure date, and reason for closure from The Max Foundation database covering the period 2001 to 2014. We used Kaplan-Meier method to assess the survival rate of patients in GIPAP and used the proportional hazard regression model to estimate the effect of different variables on patients’ survival. Findings: About 63,000 GIPAP patients in 93 countries received over 71 million defined daily doses (DDD) of imatinib between 2001 and 2014. Our analysis showed that GIPAP patients had a 5-year survival rate of 89% which compares favorably to survival in high income countries despite the challenges of delivering cancer care in LMICs. Age at enrollment into the program, sex, duration between diagnosis and enrollment into program, year of enrollment, and patients’ diagnosis (CML vs non-CML) were factors that influenced survival.