Helping people receive cancer treatment in China


Improving awareness, testing and treatment of breast and gastric cancer in China through patient assistant programme (PAP).


In China there is limited reimbursement of biologic medicines and a nascent health insurance market, so the majority of patients have to pay out-of-pocket. In addition, physicians often do not prescribe targeted treatments for treating HER2-postive breast and gastric cancer, due to low quality HER2 testing and suboptimal duration of treatment as patients cannot afford to stay on treatment.

What we’re doing

In collaboration with the Cancer Foundation in China and the Ministry of Health, we launched a patient assistance programme (PAP) in August 2011 to address affordability. Under the programme, after a patient has taken the first six cycles of Herceptin treatment, Roche donates the next eight cycles through the Cancer Foundation so that patients complete the full course of treatment.

We also support patient education programmes on breast cancer, offered by the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association, to increase awareness of disease and the importance of early diagnosis, and collaborate with the pathologist’s association to improve HER2 testing quality.

Our impact

Before these programmes, less than 15% of people in China with HER2-positive breast cancer received our targeted treatment. Today, our integrated approach of disease awareness, HER2 testing and affordability assistance has doubled the number of people not only receiving treatment, but receiving the full duration of treatment, enabling better health outcomes.

Up to now, more than 60,000 patients have accessed Herceptin through our patient assistance programme in China.

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Tags: Access to healthcare,