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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Novartis is focusing on new technologies beyond therapeutic solutions - CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of Novartis, Mr. Joseph Jimenez, has declared that they are focusing on new technologies beyond therapeutic solutions, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“Novartis is taking an outcomes approach, looking beyond therapeutic solutions to a focus on new technologies, new commercial models, education and training,” says Jimenez.

He made this declaration at the opening session of Novartis senior executives assemblage in Basel, Switzerland for the first-ever tagged Novartis Africa Day 2013, to review the company’s innovative work in Africa, including growing commercial activity, novel approaches to expand access to high-quality, affordable medicines, local talent development and the company’s Malaria Initiative.

“As the continent increasingly grapples with the dual healthcare burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, we believe we can make a significant difference in improving lives as the demand for healthcare rises,” he said.

Africa, he told NaijaAgroNet at the opening session, faces immense challenges in its efforts to provide adequate healthcare to its people. Stressing that the continent is home to one-seventh of the world’s population, shoulders one-quarter of the global disease burden, but it has only two per cent of the world’s doctors and less than one per cent of global health expenditure.

“Life expectancy is 15 years less than the global average. Africa is also at a turning point as it begins to be challenged by a dual disease burden; both communicable diseases that have historically plagued the continent, such as malaria, and non-communicable diseases that are on the rise due to lifestyle changes, such as diabetes,” he said.

Jimenez also decried low levels of disease awareness, declining infrastructure and poor distribution channels, which further compound Africa’s problems.  

Novartis, he said, employs a range of activities on the African continent with the aim of becoming the leading healthcare company in Africa.

Programmes to be discussed at the event include Sandoz Health Shops in Zambia, the Novartis Malaria Initiative and SMS for Life.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that Sandoz Health Shops have the potential to reach more than 2.5 million patients over the next four years. While Novartis Malaria Initiative, reportedly provided more than 600 million antimalarial treatments, without profit, to more than 60 malaria-endemic countries.

Additionally, SMS for Life has reduced wait times and stock-outs for antimalarial medicines from three months to a few days and from 79 per cent to less than 26 per cent in three districts in Tanzania.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE/APO
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