Due to a lack of response from Dr Fielden and the number of patients waiting for clarification on aspects of generic imatinib, I’ve taken the decision to make my most recent letter to Dr Fielden public. Let’s hope that he replies to this one. Kris


Dr Jonathan Fielden
Director of Specialised Commissioning
NHS England
xxxxxx xxxxxx

16th February 2017

Dear Dr Fielden,

RE: Imatinib – your reference xxxxxxx

I’m writing in response to my letter dated 21st December 2016 to which I’ve yet to receive a reply. I would appreciate a swift response to this letter given the troubling nature of the contents and the outstanding queries from previous communication.

  1. If a patient who has had a successful period on branded imatinib then switches to generic and cannot tolerate new side effects, are they able to revert to branded imatinib, considering it’ll likely to be cheaper than the other TKIs available?
  2. In a previous letter, you listed Leukaemia Care as an organisation who have been involved in drafting the guidance. Leukaemia Care aren’t aware of any such involvement. Please can you clear this up?
  3. Are you aware of a national shortage of Wockhardt (generic imatinib)? I’ve come across two instances now where patients have been without treatment. If you are aware, why has this happened?
  4. Are you aware of the labelling issue with at least two form of generic imatinib? This is the issue that suggests that the drug, for adults, is for blast crisis only and not chronic or accelerated phases. This issue has the ability to mislead and worry patients. What action are you taking and how did this issue escape what I hope would be a rigorous checking procedure?

Unfortunately, my concern with the process that brought generic imatinib to market is now being realised and I’ve very much like some answers.

Yours sincerely,


Kris Griffin (Mr)