To close patients’ affordability gap and increase their access to oncology treatments, Pfizer has partnered with American Cancer Society and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).
The country manager and cluster lead, West Africa, Pfizer, Olayinka Subair who disclosed this in a press statement, said the aim of the partnership is to reduce the price of 16 priority and quality-assured medicines by almost 50 per cent in six countries in Africa.
In tackling the challenges of healthcare financing and access, Subair said Pfizer partnered with mPharma on the Project ‘Taksit’, a novel payment programme, which enables patients to pay via installments. “Project Taksit is providing patients with immediate access to their medication while enabling them to pay over 30 days with majority of the enrollees being patients paying out of pocket and insured patients whose plan is not covering the full length of hospital stay. The programme is running in more than 20 hospitals with plans to scale up,” the country manager added.
Pfizer also launched Project Afya, a patient assistance programme aimed at improving access to life-saving medications and boosting cancer care and autoimmune disease management, says Subair, adding that Project Afya is supporting patients suffering from two disease areas namely oncology (specifically breast cancer) and rheumatoid arthritis in low income urban and rural areas.
In partnership with IQVIA, Subair said the platform is helping to reduce therapy costs for eligible patients with the support of government’s health insurance in collaboration with key partners such as NGOs and charities. He said universal healthcare coverage in Nigeria has faced serious setbacks with the majority of the populace paying out of pocket, while assuring that the breakthrough therapies offered by Pfizer through Project Afya are aimed at extending and significantly improving the lives of people.
He said, “Project Afya is particularly significant for a country such as Nigeria where research shows that breast cancer accounts for 16.4 per cent of the cancer mortality rate, followed by cervical cancer (12 per cent) and prostate cancer (11 per cent) and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid is a significant medical condition in Nigeria, affecting mostly women.
“The project is aimed at alleviating some of the pressure on the country’s already overburdened healthcare system, where large numbers of people need greater access to specialized medicines. Addressing this healthcare gap will go a long way towards improving treatment outcomes.”
Subair assured that the various patient assistance programmes would help patients start, stay on and complete their treatments.