Novartis recognize that there are multiple barriers to access and affect global health due to limited availability of healthcare personnel, treatment and diagnostic options, low quality of care, limited accessibility of health facilities, limited funds available for health care and too little focus on prevention, in addition to poverty and lack of health education.
It is understood that the solutions are complex, and must include better prevention, diagnosis and treatment, appropriate facilities and personnel, adequate health policies and systems as well as work to alleviate poverty.
As a healthcare company, Novartis addresses the challenge of access by discovering and developing new products for preventing and curing diseases, easing suffering and improving quality of life. Enhanced access begins with medical research, continues with new business models and is supported by actions to strengthen healthcare in both developing and advanced economies.
Innovation across diverse areas of healthcare is the foundation of the access strategy. Even finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases, Novartis forges innovative ways to deliver healthcare solutions to patients who need them.
One example is Arogya Parivar: Meeting needs at the bottom of the pyramid. "Arogya Parivar" means "healthy family" in Hindi, and this Novartis initiative applies innovative business thinking to address the health needs of India's enormous rural population, this is a market segment that has become known as the bottom of the pyramid. The approach uses a marketing mix based on the "4 As" - Awareness, Acceptability, Affordability and Availability, adapted to low-income markets through:
• Products tailored to the villagers - simple to use; available in small packs, hence more affordable; with packaging and educational materials in local languages
• Systems to ensure supply chain continuity and improve the availability of medicines - critical in an environment where stock-outs are commonplace
• Community health education to address low levels of disease awareness, which is particularly important to creating a viable business model
The initiative is currently rolled out to East Africa and China; additional countries are in preparation.
• During 2009, our access-to-medicine programs reached 79.5 million patients.
• One Novartis patient out of twelve received treatment through an access program.
• Through Argoy Parivar 42 million people have improved healthcare access. Argoy Parivar supervisors communicate directly with over 32,000 doctors and 22,000 pharmacies.