Expanding access to affordable treatments against chronic diseases – Novartis Access hosts second stakeholder dialogue
On May 25, Novartis Access held its second stakeholder dialogue in conjunction with the 2016 World Health Assembly to share first learnings from the Kenya launch, and to continue the discussion on how to address the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in lower-income countries. This event is part of the company’s public commitment to transparency and open dialogue with stakeholders as Novartis Access is rolled out.
“When we launched Novartis Access in Kenya at the end of last year, we knew we were entering unchartered territory and would need to take a learning-by-doing approach in rolling out the program,” said Harald Nusser, Global Head Novartis Access, in his introductory remarks.
With this mindset, the panelists and audience (140 representatives from NGOs, IGOs, global health organizations, government, academia, peer companies, NCD patient groups, and advocacy organizations) discussed how innovative partnerships can help expand access to affordable NCD medicines for populations at the base of the pyramid – from disease awareness to screening, diagnosis and treatment, through to supply chain integrity.
Panel 1: Novartis Access in Kenya: Scaling up for impact in our first country
This panel discussed learnings from Kenya, the first country where Novartis Access is being rolled out and where products have already reached rural facilities.
· Dr. Cyprian Kamau, Head of Health Services, Christian Health Association of Kenya
· Sylvia Khamati, Head Health, Kenyan Red Cross
· Dr. Jonathan Kiliko, Head Customer Service, Mission for Essential Drugs & Supplies
Panel 2: Tackling the NCD challenge: Partnering for a robust and integrated continuum of care
This panel debated the challenges of ensuring a continuum of care for fragile populations and in lower-income countries. There was a particular focus on how healthcare systems in these countries can be strengthened to deal with the double diseases burden of infectious and chronic diseases, and deliver NCD treatments in rural areas where diagnosis facilities are lacking.
· Dr. Esperanza Martinez, Head of the Health Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
· Johanna Ralston, CEO, World Heart Federation
· Professor Richard Laing, Boston University
· Dr. Harald Nusser, Global Head, Novartis Access
Launched in September 2015, Novartis Access is a portfolio of products that is intended to bring affordable medicines to 20 million patients suffering from chronic diseases in low and lower middle income countries by 2020. The portfolio is made available to governments and public-sector customers at a price of USD 1 per treatment per month. This initiative aims to drive a step change in access to NCD treatments. The portfolio focuses on affordability and availability of 15 targeted on- and off-patent medicines addressing key NCDs: cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses, diabetes and breast cancer.
After Kenya, the program will be rolled out in Ethiopia and Vietnam this year. Overall, the program targets 30 countries until 2020.