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Novartis Drugs Win U.K. Backing; Bristol-Myers’s Pill Rejected

Novartis AG’s Tasigna and Glivec drugs won the backing of the U.K.’s health-cost agency for use against a rare blood cancer in draft treatment guidelines.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence rejected a competing product, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Sprycel, the agency said in a statement today.

Both Tasigna and Sprycel cost more than 30,000 pounds ($47,000) a patient, the agency said. Novartis offered a price cut that allowed a recommendation for Tasigna, and the Basel, Switzerland-based company asked that the discount be kept confidential, the agency said. The guidelines also confirm a 2003 decision that Glivec is cost-effective.

The agency advises the National Health Service on which medicines represent value for money.

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