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WHO to help bring cheap cancer biosimilar drugs to world's poor

LONDON May 4 The World Health Organization is to launch a pilot project this year to assess cheap so-called biosimilar copies of expensive biotech drugs for cancer, in a bid to make such medicines more widely available in poorer countries.

The United Nations health agency said on Thursday it would invite manufacturers in September to submit applications for prequalification of biosimilar versions of two such drugs on its essential medicines list, Roche's Rituxan and Herceptin.

It also plans to explore options for prequalifying biosimilar insulin. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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