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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