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Novartis cancer patient access program lauded

/ 12:06 AM July 19, 2014

A patient support group has lauded Novartis Healthcare Philippines for its unprecedented access program that helps poor patients get the cancer treatments they need.

Rod N. Padua, president of Touched by Max (TBM) Philippines, said: “For over a decade now, Novartis has helped extend the lives of thousands of Filipino patients by providing them with free and discounted cancer medications. This private company is not making any profit by helping us and is actually taking the cudgels for a basic human need such as access to healthcare, which is the role of the government. We owe Novartis a huge debt of gratitude.”

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Since 2002, the Novartis Oncology Access (NOA) has benefited over 2,500 socially disadvantaged Filipino cancer patients. To date, benefits provided by NOA to Filipino patients are valued at around P4.5 billion.

Established in 2006, TBM Philippines is a nonprofit support group for Filipino patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). CML is a rare form of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too much abnormal white blood cells or leukemia cells. GIST is another rare type of cancer that usually develops in the stomach. To date TBM has 2,500 members, many of whom are children and adolescents with CML or GIST.

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Rod, whose 8-year-old son was diagnosed with CML in 2006, delivered his message during the combined 11th Glivec International Patient Assistance Program (Gipap)  and 6th NOA program anniversary celebration. The event was held on April 12 at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City and attended by TBM Philippines members, Novartis Healthcare Philippines officials and other program partners.

Launched worldwide by Novartis in 2002, Gipap is one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching cancer patient access programs ever implemented on a global scale. It is the first global direct-to-patient access program.

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TAGS: cancer, health and wellness, novartis, TBM, touched by max
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