The burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular diseases, asthma, diabetes and cancer in the developing world is increasing. These conditions disproportionally affect poverty-stricken areas. Already today 28 million people die each year from these types of diseases in low- and middle-income countries – representing nearly 75% of deaths from NCDs globally. Combined with the existing challenge of managing infectious diseases, these countries are now confronted with a double disease burden. Because chronic illnesses require early detection and long-term, ongoing treatment, we need new ways to ensure access to affordable medicines for NCDs in countries where people often have limited resources.
In late 2015, we launched Novartis Access, a novel program to fight chronic diseases in lower-income countries. Novartis Access offers a portfolio of 15 on- and off-patent medicines addressing key NCDs: cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, respiratory illnesses and breast cancer.
The Novartis Access one-year report describes first results, early learnings and challenges from our first twelve months on the ground. It also includes external perspectives and country updates, showcasing the progress we have made as we roll out the program.