As we expand our business in new geographies, we are exploring broad market strategies to reach new patients, in particular the emerging middle income populations – people who are increasingly able to access healthcare systems and for whom our medicines are becoming affordable.
Broadening affordability will be founded on the value AstraZeneca provides to patients and healthcare professionals based on our product portfolio, our supply chain integrity and our experience in treatments for conditions which are increasingly prevalent in these markets.
In the Ukraine, our ’Terapia PLUS’ programme is available to all patients. A single patient card provides discounts on some of our key medicines alongside educational materials that help people to understand their disease and the importance of compliance. Launched in April 2012, we are aiming to reach 10,000 patients in the first year.
In China, an estimated 800 million people have limited access to healthcare outside urban areas. We are expanding our marketing activity to reach an increasing number of physicians and hospitals outside the most affluent cities in communities who do not currently have regular access to healthcare and high quality medicines. We are also broadening our range of products in China to include generic medicines. In 2012, we acquired Guangdong BeiKang Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a generics manufacturing company in China, which gives us access to a portfolio of injectable medicines used to treat infections. First launches are planned for 2013 and underscore our intention to serve the health needs of Chinese patients through our innovative medicines and, increasingly, high quality branded generic treatments that are locally produced to global standards.
Our Faz Bem (“Do well”) programme in Brazil, established in 2008, provides discounts to the cost of our medicines to patients across all socio-economic groups. Patients are provided with information about the programme from their doctor and, once enrolled in the scheme, they receive a discount on a range of our medicines. The lack of compliance is a significant problem in this region and so the programme also provides additional incentives for the people who adhere to their treatment regimes. A dedicated Faz Bem website supports patients with information about diseases and their treatment, and promotes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. 250,000 patients joined the programme in 2012 and since 2008 we have reached 1.2 million patients in total.
In Romania, a Patient Access Card is available which enables co-payment reductions for patients. Distributed by physicians, common practice within the pharmaceutical industry is to provide a separate card for each treatment. AstraZeneca is simplifying the process by making a single card apply to reductions on a range of our key products, which makes it easier for patients to manage and reduces the administrative burden for pharmacists. We are also working to make new rural patients aware of the process through a dedicated call-centre. To date, 30,000 additional cardiovascular patients have been reached through this single card programme.