Roche signs agreement to work with Côte d'Ivoire government

Peter Hug, Head of EEMEA Region with Cote d'Ivoire Minister of Finance and Economy Niale Kaba

Focus on improving access to viral hepatitis and breast cancer medicines

Roche announced on December 15 that it signed an agreement with the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health to facilitate improved access to innovative treatments for hepatitis B, C and D and breast cancer. The new programs for people with low incomes will start on January 1, 2015 and be continued for a period of five years. These patients will pay a minimal portion of the cost, with the government and Roche covering the remainder.

A signature ceremony was held in Abidjan with dignitaries including Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, Minister of Health Raymonde Goudou Coffi, Minister of Finance and Economy Nialé Kaba, and Minister of Budget Abdourahmane Cissé. Said Peter Hug, Head of Roche Pharma’s EEMEA region, “This agreement will allow for many more patients in Côte d’Ivoire to be treated with our innovative medicines. The Côte d’Ivoire agreement supports Roche’s strategy for sub-Saharan Africa which is focused on partnering with stakeholders to address key access barriers specific to the region.”

This agreement builds upon the existing National Programme for the Fight Against Viral Hepatitis and National Programme Against Cancer that were established by the government in 2008. These programs, supported by Roche, focus on awareness, prevention, early detection and therapeutic management of viral hepatitis and breast cancer.  With the latest program expansions in Côte d’Ivoire, Roche is working with the government to provide a fully comprehensive disease management approach.

The viral hepatitis program in Côte d’Ivoire aims to treat an additional 3,000 patients over five years. The agreement also aims to help about 1,000 women with breast cancer in this period. This joint effort will be critical in a country where the prevalence of hepatitis B is as high as 13 percent. Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women in Côte d’Ivoire with a mean age of onset between 40 and 49 years.

Roche is developing similar programs in other sub-Saharan African countries.  In Cameroon, approximately 4.5 million citizens of the population of 22 million are estimated to be positive for hepatitis B or C. Since 2012, Roche has partnered with the government on awareness and screening campaigns as well as training of healthcare professionals. In November 2014, Roche announced with the Ministry of Health a new commercial agreement for hepatitis treatments which will improve access for increased numbers of patients.

For more information, read the press release here

Tags: Access to healthcare, Sustainability, Partnerships