• Novartis sets out new strategy to broaden access to medicines in sub-Saharan Africa

    • November 15, 2019
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    Swiss pharma giant Novartis (NOVN: VX) announced on Wednesday announced a new strategy to broaden patient reach and availability of its portfolio of medicines in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which is home to the largest underserved patient population in the world. Novartis also aspires to be the partner of choice for governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to strengthen healthcare systems across Africa.

    The strategy is aligned with the Novartis Access Principles, which aim to systematically integrate access strategies in how the company researches, develops and delivers medicines globally; a newly formed sub-Saharan Africa unit will deploy innovative approaches to increase patient reach across the full income pyramid; Novartis is building on its established activities in malaria, cancer, sickle cell and cardiovascular diseases as well as proven social business models on the continent; a quarter of the global disease burden is located in Africa, but only 3% of the world’s health workers are based on the continent and the share of the world’s health expenditure for Africa is below 1%.1

    “We are deeply committed to improving access to medicines around the world,” says Vas Narasimhan, chief executive of Novartis, adding: “Building on our longstanding efforts to improving health in Africa, including on malaria and sickle cell disease, we’re taking a comprehensive approach to ensuring patients in sub-Saharan Africa, regardless of income, have access to our portfolio of medicines.”


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