A man teaches a community in Myanmar about leprosy awareness and prevention

A medicine is only as good as the system that delivers it. Improving access to healthcare requires long-term investments in healthcare infrastructure. We work with governments and partners to strengthen healthcare systems and lower barriers to healthcare delivery.

We follow a systematic, enterprise-wide approach to address health system barriers. Health system strengthening (HSS) is being integrated throughout our core business planning processes, and all Novartis launches now have a global HSS strategy for local adaptation.

The Novartis HSS framework guides us through a process of systematically identifying and prioritizing local systems barriers across the patient journey, to achieve tangible improvements in health systems capacity and capabilities. We invest in the training and support of healthcare workers to expand their knowledge and improve their ability to help patients. We work to empower patients to take ownership of their health and to better understand and manage their disease. We implement programs to raise awareness on diseases, promote health-seeking behavior and educate on disease management. And we facilitate programs and collaborations that can aid local research and clinical trial capabilities.

For example, in partnership with the University of Basel we developed a fellowship training program called Next Generation Scientist (NGS). Launched in 2011, NGS invites talented young scientists and clinicians from low- and middle-income countries to our Basel, Switzerland, campus for a three-month research internship. In 2020, we brought our core scientific exchange programs (including NGS) together under a common framework called Global Health Scholars, including partnership programs with the Global Health Institute at the University of Siena and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

The Novartis Global Health Alliance (previously the Novartis Africa Health Alliance) further helps support Novartis country organizations with targeted health system strengthening programs.

In addition, we advocate for and support improvements in healthcare policy and healthcare systems design, for example regulatory harmonization and removing health system inefficiencies.

One Novartis health system strengthening framework

One Novartis health system strengthening framework