Punjab province in Pakistan signs agreement with Novartis Access against chronic diseases

ID: 1528297
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Novartis International AG /
Punjab province in Pakistan signs agreement with Novartis Access against chronic
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* Poor patients in Punjab will have access to high-quality  medicines against
noncommunicable, chronic diseases thanks to agreement between government and
Novartis Access

* Punjab government will make medicines available free of charge through
public sector hospitals from early 2018 onward

* Pakistan is among the countries most affected by chronic diseases; more than
half of its population lives in the Punjab province

Basel, 11 November 2017 - Today, the provincial government of Punjab in Pakistan
signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Novartis to roll out Novartis Access.
Poor patients in the province of Punjab will soon have free access to high-
quality medicines from the Novartis Access portfolio targeting four key
noncommunicable disease areas (NCDs): cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,
respiratory illnesses, and breast cancer. The agreement also includes the
implementation of innovative software to track and monitor individual patient
access and adherence.

"We are very mindful of the warnings from the World Health Organization and
World Bank that Pakistan''s chronic disease problem urgently needs to be
addressed with high-quality treatment and care." said Mian Muhammad Shehbaz
Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab. "We are pleased that public-private partnerships
like the one with Novartis Access can measurably improve healthcare services and
capabilities in the province," he added.

Punjab province, with a population of 110 million, is the largest province in
Pakistan, representing more than half of the country''s population. The agreement

with Novartis Access is part of an ongoing program to transform the treatment of
NCDs and other diseases in Punjab. Special focus will be on providing quality
care in the areas of preventive care, primary and secondary healthcare, drug
control and institutional reforms. Novartis Access treatments are among the
world''s most frequently prescribed medicines for chronic diseases.

"Novartis Access has been designed to help governments in lower-income countries
improve access to treatments for noncommunicable diseases for the poorest
populations. Our key goal is to help patients in Punjab better manage their
chronic condition with this program. We believe new approaches that bring
governments and the private sector together are needed to expand access to
medicines and healthcare delivery," said Dr. Harald Nusser, Head of Novartis
Social Business.

The program in Punjab will also involve the deployment of an offspring of the
Novartis SMS for Life digital platform, which will use biometric data to create
a registry able to help track patient access and adherence. The anonymized data
generated by the system will inform both the government and Novartis about
disease prevalence, treatment availability and patient outreach, allowing to
better serve patients.

In May 2017, Novartis also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pakistan''s
Ministry of National Health Services to make Novartis Access treatments
available through the Prime Minister''s National Health Insurance Program. This
program aims to serve the poorest patients in the country through federal
facilities and nearly 1 million families are currently enrolled. Novartis is
working with other provincial governments in Pakistan to further expand Novartis

NCDs are on the rise in Pakistan. According to the World Bank[1], chronic
diseases account for 59% of the total disease burden in Pakistan[1] and half of
all deaths every year in the country[2].  The World Health Organization states
there is a 21% probability of dying between the ages of 30 and 70 years from the
four main NCDs[2], a pattern reflected in the Punjab province. Approximately a
tenth of the population is diabetic[3]; 38% is overweight or obese, over half
are hypertensive, and over a third smoke tobacco[4], placing many at higher risk
of heart disease and respiratory problems.

The Punjab government is tackling the growing burden of NCDs, particularly
through the Punjab Health Sector Plan. Novartis Pharma Pakistan and the Punjab
health department recently signed another major health initiative to provide
treatment for cancer patients in the province.

Pakistan is the first country in Asia to launch Novartis Access and first
deliveries of medicines to the Punjab are planned in early 2018. Novartis Access
was first introduced in 2016 through faith-based organizations in Kenya and is
underway through national systems or faith-based health systems in Cameroon and
Rwanda. Other countries, including Ethiopia and Uganda, are at earlier stages of
introducing the program.

About Novartis Access
Novartis Access includes 15 generic and patented medicines to address
cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and breast cancer. The
portfolio is available to governments, NGOs and other public-sector healthcare
providers in low and lower middle income countries for USD 1 per treatment, per
month*. The have been selected based on medical relevance: they are either on or
pertain to a class outlined in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, or
belong to the most frequently prescribed medicines in these disease areas.
Novartis Access launched in 2015 and we strive to reach 30 countries over the
coming years based on government and stakeholder demand. Novartis Access is the
latest addition to our company''s efforts to enhance access to healthcare for
patients at every level of income. It is integrated in Novartis Social Business,
a unit which includes the Novartis Malaria Initiative and the Novartis Healthy
Family programs. This unit is operationally managed by Sandoz, the Novartis
generics and biosimilars division. For more information, please visit

* The USD 1 price does not include costs for freight, insurance and potential

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving
needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis
offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines,
cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has
leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved
net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to
approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately
121,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in
approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow (at)Novartis at
For Novartis multimedia content, please visit www.novartis.com/news/media-
For questions about the site or required registration, please contact

[1] Engelgau MM, El-Saharty S, Kudesia P. Capitalizing on the Demographic
Transition: Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases in South Asia. World Bank.
Washington DC, 2010, p.50-51. Accessible at:
[2] World Health Organization, Pakistan NCD Factsheet. Accessible at:
[3] Shera, AS et al. "Pakistan National Diabetes Survey: Prevalence of glucose
intolerance and associated factors in the Punjab province of Pakistan." Prim
Care Diabetes. 2010 Jul;4(2):79-83
[4] Khan MS, Khan A, Ali A, Akhtar N, Rasool F, Khan H, et al. Prevalence of
risk factors for coronary artery disease in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. Trop J
Pharm Res 2016; 15(1):195-200

# # #

Novartis Media Relations
Central media line: +41 61 324 2200
E-mail: media.relations(at)novartis.com

Antonio Ligi Nadine Schecker
Novartis Global Media Relations Novartis Social Business
+41 61 324 1374 (direct) +41 61 696 8633 (direct)
+41 79 723 3681 (mobile) +41 79 682 1326 (mobile)
antonio.ligi(at)novartis.com nadine.schecker(at)novartis.com

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Source: Novartis International AG via GlobeNewswire

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Date: 11/11/2017 - 08:00
Language: English
News-ID 1528297
Character count: 5922
Firma: Novartis International AG
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Stadt: Basel


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