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5 of 5 DOCUMENTS The Washington Post May  19, 2016 Thursday Suburban Edition Patent dispute worries Colombia BYLINE:  Carolyn Y. Johnson;Karen DeYoung SECTION:  A-SECTION; Pg. A12 LENGTH:  925 words U.S. officials say fight over cancer drug won't affect peace-deal funding Colombian officials are concerned that a dispute with the Swiss drugmaker Novartis over the patent and price of a groundbreaking cancer treatment could escalate and threaten U.S. funding for a pending peace deal that could end a half-century of war in the South American nation, according to leaked letters written by the Colombian Embassy. In a letter last month to Colombia's health minister, an official with the Colombian Embassy in Washington said that Senate Finance Committee staffer Everett Eissenstat had warned him that a plan to override the patent on Gleevec, the top-earning cancer drug for pharmaceutical giant Novartis last year, could damage Colombia's reputation in the United States and interfere with U.S.-Colombian relations. President Obama has made a $450 million commitment to aid implementation of the Colombian government's peace deal between the government and the leftist guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). A spokeswoman for the committee said that funding for the peace deal was not discussed in the meeting between Andr é s Fl ó rez and Eissenstat. Colombian Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria said in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday that he would
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