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"Novartis expanded access to medicines for 56.2 million people in underserved groups in 2021"

The Impaakt Team

7 min Read Time | April 1st 2022

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How is Novartis providing access to medicine to underserved groups?

Our article of the week selects the top published pieces on the Impaakt platform that week. We assess how companies impact the planet and society through their products, processes, and even their ideas. Ultimately creating data and reports for financial institutes to use when decision making.

The winner this week is:

Written by: Ardit Naka

Company: Novartis

SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being

Read the full article below.

"Novartis expanded access to medicines for 56.2 million people in underserved groups in 2021"

Worldwide, 2Bn people lack access to basic medicine1. Lack of medicine is a major barrier to good health, with 5.7Mn deaths annually occurring in low and middle-income countries due to low-quality healthcare2. Around 75% of the deaths from non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, occur today in low- and middle-income countries6.

Malaria is a life-threatening, but treatable and avoidable, parasitic illness spread by bites from infected female Anopheles mosquitoes3. In 2020, 241Mn people had malaria (95% in Africa), while about 627,000 died from it (96% in Africa)3. Half of Africa's population lacks access to medicine (around 600Mn people)5.

Novartis is a biotech & pharma company that reached 766Mn patients around the world in 20217;p6. The company claims it is dedicated to improving access to medicines in underserved communities, hence, around 56.2Mn of those patients were people of these groups7;p70.

In 1999, Novartis launched the first fixed-dose Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to fight malaria8. Up to 2021, the company delivered 1Bn antimalarial treatments to patients worldwide, 90% of it supplied without profit8.

In India, Novartis launched a malaria screening campaign in Odisha state, an area that has over a quarter of the country's malaria load8. More than 120,000 people have been examined for malaria and possible comorbidities since 20208.

Novartis also launched Better Hearts Better Cities - an initiative in low-income urban populations - to address hypertension as a key risk factor for cardiovascular diseases9. The program was implemented in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; São Paulo Brazil; and Dakar, Senegal9. Within two years, there was an almost three-fold increase in blood pressure control in Dakar and in São Paulo, blood pressure control almost tripled after one year, reaching a 31% control rate9.

Novartis is expanding access to medicines for millions of people around the world, especially to those in underserved communities.

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