As the first tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), imatinib (Gleevec or Glivec, Novartis Pharmaceuticals) was introduced, the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has changed radically, and the TKIs are now the mainstay of CML treatment. The substantially high treatment cost has unfortunately been a major issue, which puts a strain on health-care budgets even in developed countries. So reimbursement policies encourage generic drug (i.e. generic imatinib) use to lower the expenses, and it is true that generics would lead to considerable cost savings, but they also give rise to questions associated with their efficacy, safety and quality. In this commentary, we discuss the current evidence on generic imatinib based mainly on our "Cerrahpasa'' experience along with other data available in the literature together with the data discussed by de Lemos and colleagues.