Over 2 billion people across the world lack access to the health care they need when facing complex and rare diseases — especially for serious health threats such as many forms of cancer. These diseases require specialized clinical skills to screen, diagnose and treat patients, presenting significant challenges in the levels of capacity and resources needed for prevention, as well as education and raising awareness about them. Often resource-constrained countries that need to strengthen their health care systems are most severely impacted by these diseases.
Because patient access barriers go far beyond affordability, our PAPs and pricing mechanisms run in parallel to initiatives to build capacity and infrastructure across the entire patient experience, from disease awareness, diagnosis and management to ongoing patient care and support. To make this happen, we’re also working with partners in government, NGOs and the private sector to strengthen health care systems across the entire patient journey.
Helping to achieve universal health coverage is a priority for Takeda, and we’re committed to the long-term, continuous efforts needed to make that happen. This includes participating in relevant public-private partnerships, aligning policies and regulations, supporting implementation of crucial health programs and promoting multisector partnerships such as UHC 2030.
Takeda’s Access to Medicines strategy and programs are assessed externally through the Access to Medicine Index, a biannual research program by the Access to Medicine Foundation, working closely with Boston University’s Access Observatory to leverage their data and insights. These assessments help us monitor the progress of our projects and ensure we deliver the right medicine, training and support. Takeda ranked fifth on the 2018 Index.
Building scientific and research capacity in LMICs
We partner with nonprofit organization Seeding Labs to strengthen basic research capacity in LMICs by providing local universities and researchers with the equipment, training and mentoring they need to address local health research and delivery challenges, participate in the fight against emerging global diseases and teach the next generation of local scientists. Through the Instrumental Access Program (IAP), Takeda’s R&D organization has provided 948 pieces of scientific equipment to 67 research departments in 53 institutions, along with building local research capacity in 24 countries, as part of the Instrumental Access Program.
In addition, we provide opportunities for our R&D employees to strengthen local R&D scientific, clinical and technical capabilities needed for sustainable mental health and cancer research, and care delivery in LMICs. Currently active in Haiti, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, partnerships last between two and five years and are tailored to address significant local unmet needs and gaps. Each initiative has project-specific goals, objectives, governance structures and deliverables. More than 200 employees from our R&D organization are sharing their knowledge and skills to support 50 programs through 20 nonprofit partnerships.
Access to Health Impact measurement framework
Measuring impact in a consistent, transparent and independent way is critical to meeting our goals in improving health care for patients everywhere. As part of our Access to Medicines strategy, we commissioned Duke University Innovations in Healthcare and Broadreach to design an Access to Health Impact framework with an associated indicator library that has been validated by leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, implementing partners, academics and clinicians.
Our ambition is to implement this framework across health care sectors and champion the effort to lead sustainable Access to Medicines programs that have a positive impact on patient lives. With the Health Impact framework now created, we have expanded Duke University Innovations in Healthcare’s purview to train and support our Access to Medicines partners with the capabilities required for accurate and appropriate data collection and analysis for their respective activities. Furthermore, we’re working to create a multistakeholder Global Coalition for Access to Health that uses the ramework as an industry-standard resource.
In 2019, Takeda began a three-year pilot in Meru County, Kenya, of Blueprint for Innovative Healthcare Access — a fully integrated and sustainable implementation framework for health care system strengthening for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) at every stage of the patient journey. Meru County has one of the highest rates of NCDs in Kenya. In the first year, Takeda partners trained over 800 health care workers. These efforts led to over 8,000 people being screened for diabetes, hypertension and cancers, and, of these, over 600 people were diagnosed and are receiving treatment.
Blueprint employs a practical framework to sustainably strengthen health care systems for NCDs at a local level across the patient journey, from earlier awareness, prevention and screening; to faster diagnosis; to local access to consistent high-quality treatment and innovative medicines, and ongoing patient support with faster integrated referrals. It also includes financial support and guidance, as well as innovative affordability programs to increase patient access to medicines.
At the core of the Blueprint framework is a consortium of partners who share resources, expertise and responsibility, and through collaboration and coordination work (locally, regionally and internationally), including with the private sector, governments, NGOs, health care professionals and communities.
The Blueprint will expand into Rwanda with a view to ultimately replicate it across all LMICs.