Novartis to start offering inexpensive medication

Thursday September 6 2018

By Josephine Christopher @JocfineQ

Dar es Salaam. By 2019 Tanzanians will be one of the beneficiaries of the international programme that will enable access of medication for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at $1 per treatment.

The Novartis Access programme offers portfolio of medicines to address cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, asthma and breast cancer; targeting lower income countries at a price of $1 per treatment per month.

The programme which is run by Novartis a global healthcare company based in Switzerland has been administered to several other countries in the region such as Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda.

The company’s cluster head in Eastern and Southern countries, Mr Nathan Mulure, told this paper that the reason behind this approach is after recognising the expensiveness of treatment of NCDs that has led many people dodging medical help.

“After we done our research we recognize that people use more than $150 in seeking treatment for NCDs; that’s why most of them decide not to go to hospitals and eventually die,” he said. According to Mr Mulure, they are concluding talks with the government before signing a memorandum of understanding so they can start supplying the medicines by early 2019. Mr Mulure added that they expect through these programme patients who were ounce out of treatment will be able to afford these medicines and eventually reduction of NCDs death rates in the country.

“The only difference between these medicines is that these with $1 price tag are generic meaning they use a chemical name instead of brand name,” he said.