Improving diabetes awareness and treatment adherence in India

Through a successful patient support program, Novartis is taking diabetes care beyond the pill in India.
Jan 24, 2017
  • The Novartis Indian Metabolics team launched a patient support program (PSP) for those living with diabetes in India.
  • The PSP, called Prayaas (the Hindi word for “endeavor”), diagnoses more than 2,000 people per month during health camps.
  • The program has established itself as the flagship diabetes PSP across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

In India, approximately 69 million people are living with diabetes, and this number is expected to rise to 123.5 million by 2040.

Faced with low levels of diabetes awareness and diagnosis, treating physicians have shouldered much of the burden of educating the public – and they have received minimal support from other stakeholders such as the media, advocacy organizations and government bodies. As a result, more than half of people with diabetes in India remain undiagnosed. And for those who are diagnosed, adherence to prescribed therapy is low.

Taking diabetes care beyond the pill

To increase public awareness of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and help existing patients take control of their disease, the Novartis Indian Metabolics team launched a patient support program (PSP) called Prayaas (the Hindi word for “endeavor”).

As a key part of Prayaas, the team collaborated with healthcare practitioners to organize a series of health camps where people could get tested for T2DM using a simple blood test. Today, approximately 100 camps help diagnose more than 2,000 people each month.

The team is also working with state governments to provide additional diagnostic facilities in government hospitals. The program has established itself as the flagship diabetes PSP across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Matching adherence to patient behavior

Based on patient trends, including the increased adoption of digital technology and growing demands for personalized disease management, it was clear the team needed to reach patients where they were: online.

Using feedback received from patients, the Novartis Indian Metabolics team revamped the PSP with a major focus on digital through three solutions:

  • A public awareness website
  • Online disease monitoring tools
  • Convenience of online medication

The results are in

Since the inception of the program, more than 50,000 patients have enrolled. The compliance to therapy ratio among patients enrolled in the program is now nine months versus just three months for the average T2DM patient. Working with communities in India, the Novartis Indian Metabolics team is making a meaningful difference in the lives of those with T2DM and has established itself as a trusted partner to both patients and healthcare providers. Building on this strong foundation, and equipped with the new and improved PSP, the team is poised to make an even greater impact on patients’ lives in the years to come.

To learn more about this patient support program, explore the team’s site.