Novartis’ pioneer medication support programme in Vietnam brings profound human values

18-Jan-2020 Intellasia | TuoitreNews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

A conference to review the GIPAP/VPAP programme implemented by Novartis to provide medication support for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) in Vietnam, as well as implementing post-programme solutions, was held in Hanoi on Tuesday.

The conference was organised by the Vietnam Medical Association (VMA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Novartis Vietnam Co., Ltd

The conference was chaired by Assoc. Prof Dr Nguyen Thi Xuyen, VMA president and former deputy minister of Health, Assoc. Prof Dr Ha Van Thuy, deputy director of the Health Insurance Department under the Ministry of Health, and nearly 130 representatives from departments of the health ministry, Max Foundation, and Novartis.

GIPAP (Glivec International Patient Assistance Programme) is a programme to support patients with CML and GIST who have health insurance for less than 36 months to have access to Glivec, a treatment drug, completely free of charge.

This programme has been implemented globally by Novartis since 2002 to support patients in 80 low and middle-income countries through the Max Foundation.

In Vietnam, the programme was implemented from 2005 to 2019 with coordination from Max Foundation and funded by Novartis, which pays for 100 percent of the cost of the Glivec drug treatment.

The programme was implemented in seven hospitals nationwide, including K Hospital, National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, HCM City Oncology Hospital, HCM City Hematology and Blood Transfusion Hospital, Cho Ray Hospital, and Hue Central Hospital.

VPAP (Vietnam Patient Assistance Programme) is a programme to support patients with CML and GIST having health insurance continuously for 36 months to have Glivec or Tasigna, another treatment drug, completely free of charge.

Patients have 100 percent of their treatment costs covered under the programme, where the Health Insurance Fund pays 40 percent and Novartis pays the remaining 60 percent of the cost for Glivec and Tasigna.

The programme was implemented in Vietnam under Phase 1 in 2010-2014 (according to Decision No. 5128/ QD-BYT dated 25/12/2009 of the Ministry of Health), Phase 2 in 2015-2019 (according to the Decision 5404/ QD-BYT dated December 27, 2014 of the Ministry of Health), and is currently being extended until February 29, 2020 according to Decision No. 6105/ QD-BYT dated December 31, 2019 of the Ministry of Health.

The results of nearly 15 years of implementing the GIPAP and more than ten years of implementing the VPAP have helped nearly 100 percent of patients with the severe illnesses of CML and GIST to be examined and treated, helping to prolong their lives and reduce the pressure of treatment costs.

Nearly 8,000 patients with CML and GIST have been supported under the programme, with the number increasing every year (834 patients in 2010, 2,214 patients in 2014, and 4,435 patients in 2018).

According to the “The Ten-Year Assessment for Implementation of VPAP and GIPAP Programme in Vietnam: Evaluation of Results, Impacts and Recommendations” report released in September 2019, this was one of the first medication support programmes implemented in Vietnam and is by far the medication support programme which has the largest number of patients supported.

The value that the programme brings is humanity to the community and society.

The programme has helped patients return to normal life, have a better mentality, and reduce treatment costs, especially for poor patients.

Hospitals now have access to a new treatment method, a chance to apply advanced scientific achievements, and the opportunity to compare the effectiveness of treatments and participate in scientific research reports around the world.

The programme also demonstrates the social security of the health insurance and its patient-centered policy.

Patients increasingly trust the policies of the Ministry of Health, Social Insurance and health agencies.

Thanks to the contributions and efforts of many parties, especially the Ministry of Health, Social Insurance, hospitals, Novartis, Max Foundation, and related agencies, the programme has achieved positive results and recognition of the society.

According to the signed agreement, the GIPAP and VPAP programme ended in 2019 and is currently extended until February 2020.

To continue to support and ensure the benefits of patients, the Ministry of Health, Vietnam Social Security, and other stakeholders are actively discussing new solutions after the programme.

VMA president Dr Nguyen Thi Xuyen made the opening speech at the event, followed by presentations.

The presentations at the conference included an introduction of GIPAP/ VPAP in Vietnam by VMA deputy general secretary Dr Tong Thi Song Huong, a review of the Chapter of VPAP and application of medical technology assessment in solution selection by the Department of Health Insurance under the Ministry of Health, a discussion by Dr Bach Quoc Khanh, director of Central Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, and representatives of the treatment facility, patients’ sharing, and speeches from Novartis representatives.

At the conference, the Ministry of Health, Novartis, and other stakeholders together discussed the solutions for patients after GIPAP/VPAP ends by changing Circular 30/2018/TT-BYT dated October 30, 2018 of the Ministry of Health.

Novartis Vietnam Co. Ltd

Novartis is a global healthcare group based in Switzerland. In February 2019, Novartis Vietnam Co., Ltd was established. Today, Novartis Vietnam is one of the leading companies in innovative medicines in many areas of treatment, such as immunology and dermatology, cardiology, respiratory, pain and neurology, and ophthalmology. Through its investment and cooperation activities in Vietnam, Novartis has become a trusted partner of the government, government agencies, and partners in various fields.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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