Health inequalities are not new, nor are they caused by one single issue, but by a complex mix of factors, including variable access to services, delayed diagnosis and a lack of early intervention, along with environmental and social factors which play out across local communities.1 COVID-19 has thrown the complex and multifaceted nature of these inequalities into sharp focus. Those living with pre-existing health conditions, from ethnic minority backgrounds, and from the most deprived areas suffer both higher mortality and more severe illness.2
At Novartis UK, we use science-based innovation to reimagine medicines and access to medicines, with a purpose to ensure that nobody should have to wait for an extraordinary life. We recognise that we have an important role in tackling health inequalities together with policymakers, healthcare systems and local communities.
We will collaborate with policymakers and healthcare systems to build solutions for faster diagnosis and earlier intervention for those population groups who are at the greatest risk of ill-health and poor health outcomes.
To deliver our pledge we will focus on:
- Improving access to healthcare: we will partner with healthcare systems to ascertain those population groups who are at the greatest risk of ill-health and identify opportunities to improve early diagnosis and intervention through risk-stratification and sophisticated analysis of data.
- Enabling innovative models of care: we will co-create solutions in collaboration with healthcare systems and our partners to improve access to diagnostic and preventive interventions, digital solutions and health literacy support for population groups who are at the greatest risk of ill-health.
- Working with the UK research community to strengthen patient inclusion in clinical research: we will work with our partners across the research ecosystem to improve patient engagement, inclusion and access to clinical research so that patients from all backgrounds have the opportunity to participate in clinical research.
- Capability building and knowledge transfer: we will upskill our people to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge, tools and insights to meaningfully engage and collaborate with healthcare systems and leaders to co-shape initiatives designed to tackle health inequalities at system and place level.