Price is just one of many factors affecting access to healthcare. We know that novel pricing models and generic medicines can help expand access, and both are part of our access programs.
Differential pricing for sustainable access
Differential pricing can help make medicines accessible — a treatment that is sold at full price in developed markets can be provided at a subsidized price in the poorest countries.
As part of our Malaria Initiative, Novartis provides its antimalarial medicine at not-for-profit prices for public sector use. Since 2004, thanks to economies of scale in sourcing and manufacturing, significant cost reductions were achieved, which allowed the price to be reduced by half for public-sector buyers over the years.
Patents in least developed countries
Novartis was among the first healthcare companies to declare it would not patent medicines in the world’s poorest countries. In line with this commitment, Novartis does not file or maintain patents in any of the least developed countries. The United Nations defines these countries based on low gross national income, weak human assets (nutrition, health, education and adult literacy), and high level of economic vulnerability.
Novartis is a company of “firsts”: the first company to distribute its antimalarials without profit to endemic countries; among the first healthcare companies to declare it would not patent medicines in the world’s poorest countries; the first vaccine manufacturer to create a not-for-profit vaccines research institute – the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health.
High-quality generic medicines
Generic medicines can expand access by offering affordable treatments with the same safety and efficacy after a patent expires.
Novartis is the only major healthcare company with leadership positions in both patented and generic pharmaceuticals. Our Sandoz Division is the second-largest producer of generics, and the price points of numerous Sandoz medicines are accessible to 90% of the world’s population.
Sandoz and its affiliate 1A Pharma often compete in tenders, where the lowest price product with the best delivery conditions usually wins the contract. Sandoz and 1A Pharma have successfully tendered bids in numerous African countries.
Sandoz is the leader in biosimilarsBiosimilars are new versions of existing biopharmaceuticals whose patents have expired, with comparable safety and efficacy to the original product., which helps improve access to biopharmaceuticals after patent expiry.