First Novartis Access Treatments Delivered to Kenya

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First Novartis Access Treatments Delivered to Kenya

Shipment includes medicines against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory conditions and breast cancer
First Novartis Access Treatments delivered to Kenya
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First Novartis Access Treatments against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes & more delivered to Kenya. Learn more:
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 8:35am

We are pleased to announce that the first Novartis Access shipment has just been delivered to Kenya. This shipment includes medicines against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory conditions and breast cancer. The medicines are currently stored in the MEDS warehouse (Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies) in Nairobi. MEDS is a faith-based not-for-profit medical supply chain and capacity building organization in Kenya. This initial shipment will allow us to establish the supply chain for Novartis Access treatments to Kenya and should set the foundation for smooth deliveries in the future. MEDS has already placed a follow-up order which is expected to reach the country in the next few weeks. As responsibility for healthcare is decentralized in Kenya, the roll-out of Novartis Access will be done county by county. The targeted end price paid by patients should be equal to or lower than USD 1.50 (KES 150) per treatment per month. Through this phased approach, we aim to build a steady supply of medicines for patients that are already on Novartis Access treatments as chronic diseases require long-term treatment. To date, eight out of the 15 medicines in the Novartis Access portfolio have received marketing authorizations in Kenya.


“This initial shipment is crucial as it sets up the basis for a steady supply of Novartis Access medicines in the country. The program supports our government’s efforts to expand access to prevention and treatment for people with cancer and other chronic diseases. In Kenya, almost 30%1 of people die from NCDs every year,” said Principal Secretary Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, Ministry of Health in Kenya.

“This initiative offers much needed relief for many Kenyan families that are struggling to meet the high cost of managing NCDs such as hypertension, breast cancer, diabetes and asthma. The low-cost drugs will not only cushion those affected but also promote better management of the diseases,” said MEDS Managing Director, Paschal Manyuru.

“The only medicine that counts is the one that reaches the patient,” said Dr. Harald Nusser, Global Head of Novartis Access. “Making medicines available is essential, but now we also need to secure the integrity of the distribution chain so patients who need these medicines receive them at an affordable price.”

Novartis Access includes 15 generic and patented medicines to address cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and breast cancer. The portfolio is offered to governments, NGOs and other public-sector healthcare providers in low and lower middle income countries for USD 1 per treatment, per month. The medicines in the portfolio have been selected based on their medical relevance: they are either on or pertain to a class included in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, or belong to the most frequently prescribed medicines in these disease areas. Novartis Access launched in Kenya in 2015 and we strive to reach 30 countries over the coming years depending on government and stakeholder demand. Novartis Access is the latest addition to our company’s efforts to enhance access to healthcare for patients at every level of income.



1. World Health Organization, “Noncommunicable diseases, Kenya country profile”, 2014:, Accessed 3 October 2015

Keywords: Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | Business & Trade | Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | Health | Kenya | Novartis | Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship | access | chronic diseases | medicines