PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has approved the second phase of the scheme for cancer patients, as the number of patients benefiting from the scheme would now be 2,065. The project titled “Treatment of Poor Blood Cancer Patients” is being executed at Hayatabad Medical Complex, headed by Professor Dr Abid Jameel, to provide lifesaving treatment support to blood cancer patients of KP and FATA. The awareness and cancer prevention programmes are also being held regularly in peripheral areas as well as in major towns with the assistance of Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Novartis. The first phase of the project was started in financial year 2011-12 and was completed successfully; the survival rate of patients was 90 percent. In phase-I, approval of summery was given on 27-12-2010, based on proposal of Novartis regarding provision of free medicines to chronic myeloid leukemia (blood cancer) patients in territory care hospital in the province. In the first phase, around 800 patients were treated for three years. The provincial government’s share was Rs 578.34 million for 810 patients for three years. The approval of the scheme was given on 13-10-2011, and the completion of scheme was on 30-06-2014. The phase-II of the scheme for treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and cancer of stomach and intestine started in 2014-15. The cost of phase-II for three years is Rs 599.861 million (provincial share). The signing of the second MoU was held on 24-11-2014, while approval was granted by PDWP on 02-10-2014. The expenditure during 2014-15 was Rs 200 million. Under the MoU, Novartis will provide Glevic tablet for the blood cancer patients free of cost for further five years after completion of phase-II. Per month cost of Glevic tablet is Rs 119,000 per patient. For Tesigna tablet, the health department was suppose to bear the cost for initial seven weeks of each year and the cost for the remaining 45 weeks will be borne by Novartis. A week’s treatment with Tesigna costs around Rs 90,440. In the second phase, there were 445 patients (210 Glevic and 235 Tesigna), while 1,311 patients in both phases have been treated since 2011 (866 in phase-1, 445 in Phase -II and 65 extra patients were registered due to savings. Moreover, 131 (11 percent) of the total patients treated under the blood cancer project belonged to FATA, for which the government incurred a total cost of Rs 39.47 million annually for blood cancer patients. The life of the project has been extended to the financial year 2018-19. It was also observed that in the first phase, total number of patients was 1,703 -58 percent males and 42 percent females. In the second phase, Part B, the total number of patients was 455 – 51 percent males and 49 percent females.