We are committed to increasing access to healthcare for under-served patient populations.
Providing access to healthcare for all those who need it is a significant and complex global challenge. Our mainstream operations already enable access to our medicines, but we are also making it easier for people to afford our medicines, especially in emerging and developing markets. We focus too on strengthening healthcare capabilities, particularly in developing economies where the price of a medicine may not be the only barrier to healthcare.
We believe that we will be able to make the greatest contribution when our approach is commercially sustainable. It will also take a combined global effort involving all related stakeholders to drive sustainable progress worldwide. Many of our activities are therefore underpinned by collaboration with a wide range of partners.
As access to healthcare can also vary within a country, our activity is tailored locally to meet the needs of different patient populations.
What we're doing
In 2014, we reached 2.7 million patients with our affordability programmes. We currently run affordability programmes in over 20 countries across Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. In Brazil, our Faz Bem (Do Well) programme gives patients discounts on the cost of our medicines, along with information about diseases, treatments and healthy lifestyles. In 2014, the Faz Bem programme reached 1.7 million people. This is an 18 percent increase in reach of the programme since 2013.
Tackling breast cancer in Africa
Breast cancer is the most common cancer and greatest cause of cancer death among women in South Africa. Phakamisa is a programme supported by AstraZeneca that brings together different organisations to help raise breast cancer awareness, increase early diagnosis, and improve access to treatment and effective support networks.
In collaboration with South Africa’s Foundation for Professional Development, we are providing accredited courses in cancer diagnosis, treatment and care to healthcare professionals. And in partnership with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and the Breast Health Foundation, we are training teams of volunteers and counsellors to go out into the community, raising awareness and supporting patients, as Phakamisa ‘Navigators’.
Since 2011, more than 600 healthcare professionals have been provided with courses and 400 people trained as ‘Navigators’. More than 1,606,978 women have been reached by Navigators across the country.
Young Health Programme
Launched in 2010, AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme (YHP) has a unique focus on young people and the prevention of most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart and respiratory disease. Working with over 30 expert organisations and combining on-the-ground programmes, research and advocacy, it targets the risk behaviours such as tobacco use, alcohol abuse and unhealthy eating that can lead to these diseases in adulthood. A particular focus is placed on working with marginalised young people.
Since 2010, we have reached over 1.2 million young people in 18 countries, across five continents. We have also achieved our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action of reaching 500,000 young people directly and indirectly with information regarding NCD prevention.
Over 9,500 young people have been trained to share health information with their peers and the community and over 10,000 frontline health providers have been trained in adolescent health, so supporting the sustainability of YHP activities.
Find out more on the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme website.
Strengthening healthcare capabilities: Healthy Heart Africa
Healthy Heart Africa is a new programme that launched in October 2014. It aims to support local health systems by increasing awareness of the symptoms and risks of hypertension and by offering education, screening, reduced-cost treatment and control.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is an often-overlooked non-communicable disease that puts patients at high risk of developing more serious cardiovascular conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Africa has the highest prevalence of adults with hypertension at 46 percent, and a quarter of all premature deaths in Africa are attributable to the condition.
In designing and developing the Healthy Heart Africa programme, we worked closely with governments, international organisations, health experts, and non-governmental and community-based organisations, and many of these organisations are active partners in the implementation of Healthy Heart Africa.
Our long-term goal is to ensure that 10 million patients with hypertension in Africa are on treatments that control their condition by 2025, supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) ‘25 by 25’ global monitoring framework for preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases. If achieved, this would address a quarter of the WHO’s hypertension target in Africa.