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NEW YORK – Earlier this month, Novartis announced it will fully subsidize BRAF testing via Quest Laboratories for all melanoma patients meeting certain criteria, which the drugmaker hopes will help close test access gaps.

While it's not clear the extent to which melanoma patients currently lack access to covered single-gene BRAF testing, the free testing program can certainly help Novartis maintain its leading position in the BRAF and MEK inhibitor market against at least two other competing companies — though the drugmaker wouldn't comment on this point.

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