Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG has initiated a program that will supply cheap medicine in three countries across the world: Ethiopia, Kenya and Vietnam.
The drugmaker company declared that its new strategy would supply low-cost drug treatments for governments – $1 per drug per month. The company will also supply full-time aid groups for a considerable range of chronic conditions including diabetes, respiratory disease and high blood pressure.
On the list of drugs that Novartis AG will supply to these countries are Valsartan – high blood pressure, Tamoxifen – breast cancer, Vildagliptin – for type 2 diabetes, among others. The Swiss company aims at expanding their program to more than 30 countries.
The medication they offer is indeed very cheap, considering the fact that Tamoxifen treatment in the United States costs about $100 monthly, while a two months treatment with Vidagliptin pills costs about $70 in countries like Australia and Sweden.
Although the pharmaceutical industry is heavily criticized about the costs of drugs, especially in developing countries, the past decade and the current one showed some signs of humanity. Very large companies, such as Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche started proving drugs at much lower prices to citizens living in countries of low-income.
Novartis stated that they have picked the three countries because they are aware of their big struggles with obtaining effective medicine. The fact that the company already had strong links to many non-governmental organizations in Vietnam and Kenya helped the scheme develop much faster than it was first planned.
Among the biggest obstacles these countries have to face in order to gain access to sophisticated drugs is the poorly conceived medical infrastructure and the lack of education about illnesses. However, the biggest problem remains big costs of medicine.
The United Nations have big concerns about the way developing countries deal with their healthcare infrastructure. The biggest issue is that they cannot cope with chronic disease once they escalate. Statistics show that in most of poor countries 85% of premature deaths are caused by diseases who were not diagnosed properly or on time, and the lack of affordable medication.
In addition, the experts at the United Nations are estimating that about 77% of world’s diabetics are inhabitants of developing countries. Moreover, nearly 50% of adults from African countries are suffering from high blood pressure.
The good news is that companies like Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche are setting an example for many other smaller pharmaceutical companies from all over the world, which are currently planning to roll out their own schemes in trimming medication costs in poor countries.
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