Cipla Ltd, the global pharmaceutical company and owner of Cipla Medpro, South Africa’s third largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, announced a ground-breaking market access agreement with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Clinton Health Access Imitative (CHAI) and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, to expand access to 16 essential cancer treatment medications, including chemotherapies, into Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Medpro, says that this collaboration will bring life-saving cancer treatment to these sub-Saharan African countries. “The foundation of Cipla is built on its commitment to increase accessibility of affordable and quality medicines to all citizens, so this collaboration is exactly in line with what the company stands for.”
The collaboration is part of a broader effort led by ACS and supported by CHAI to improve the market environment for cancer care in Africa.
Commenting on this partnership, Gary M Reedy, CEO of ACS, says that every person with cancer deserves access to treatment, no matter where they live. ‘Collaborating with companies like Pfizer and Cipla is a critical next step toward levelling the playing field for people with cancer and saving lives in this part of the world.”
The cancer burden is mounting in sub-Saharan Africa and deaths remain high due to late diagnosis and lack of treatment. In 2012, there was an estimated 626,000 new cases of cancer and 447,000 cancer deaths in the region*. Deaths from cancer are expected to almost double by 2030 due to aging populations**. Yet global funding for cancer prevention and treatment in lower-income countries is far lower than other diseases including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, amounting to less than 2% of global health spending***.
“These alarming statistics indicate that there is a definite need for increased access to cancer medication in South Africa, and this collaboration is a step in the right direction. Cipla is very proud to be associated with these organisation to improve the lives of cancer patients in Africa,” concludes Miller.
Whilst delivering a long-term sustainable business, Cipla recognises its duty to provide affordable medicines. Cipla’s emphasis on access for patients was recognised globally for the pioneering role played in HIV/AIDS treatment as the first pharmaceutical company to provide a triple combination anti-retroviral (ARV) in Africa at less than one dollar a day and thereby treating many millions of patients since 2001.
Cipla’s research and development focuses on developing innovative products and drug delivery systems and has given India and the world many ‘firsts’ for instance Triomune. In a tightly regulated environment, the company’s manufacturing facilities have approvals from all the main regulators including US FDA, UKMHRA, WHO, MCC, ANVISA, and PMDA which means the company provides one universal standard both domestically and internationally.