Drug Donations and Other Philanthropic Efforts: A Special Focus on HIV, Cancer Care and Hepatitis in Parts of the Developing World
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's mission is to help reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services and mobilizing communities in fighting disease. Leveraging public-private partnerships, the Foundation focuses on improving health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa, hepatitis B and hepatitis C in Asia, mental illness and type 2 diabetes in the U.S., and cancer in Central and Eastern Europe. It therefore focuses on five disease areas in four geographies. Bristol-Myers Squibb understands that only by removing barriers to treatment and care and supporting patients over the course of their disease can its innovative medical treatments achieve their maximum impact.
Product Donations: Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
- Product Donations: In 2010, the company donated products with a wholesale value of nearly $24 million. Nearly $3 million in product donations went to the Asia/Pacific region, more than $14 million to Latin America and the Caribbean and nearly $4 million went to countries in the Middle East and Africa. Donations were distributed through AmeriCares, Direct Relief International, Project HOPE, the National Cancer Coalition, Medical Teams International, MAP International and the Catholic Medical Mission Board. Among the products donated were cardiovascular products, antibiotics and therapeutic creams.
Africa: HIV/AIDS, TB, Cervical & Breast Cancer Screenings
- The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation SECURE THE FUTURE (STF) Technical Assistance and Skills Transfer Program (TAP) launched in 2007, evolved out of what has grown into a $165 million groundbreaking commitment called STF program, initiated in 1999, in five southern African countries, to enhance medical research and care and community-based outreach and support for women and children affected and infected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. TAP provides technical assistance, capacity-building tools and seed funding to extend community-based approaches to fighting HIV/AIDS to an expanding number of African countries and communities. This is especially important now as billions more in funding have flowed into the fight against HIV in Africa. Those funds must be utilized as effectively as possible. TAP utilizes a faculty of 50 experts from across Africa with community engagement and program management skills. This faculty is comprised of former STF grant recipients and partners. To date, TAP has engaged in 37 projects in 15 countries. In the past 12 months TAP has received $3 million in Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation funding. Since its inception, it has been supported with nearly $7 million. Uniquely, TAP represents a philanthropic program that has grown in impact, even with reduced cash contributions, through a “South-South” model of skill- and knowledge-transfer across Africa using human resources and community-based solutions. Partnerships with governments, NGOs, individual experts and partner organizations are central to TAP, whose faculty members are located in eight African countries. Each relationship began years earlier when these groups were funded by STF for various community-based interventions. Now, they help train others and serve as positive role models. TAP was recognized by the CECP (Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy) with its 11th annual Excellence Award (President’s Award) in 2011. Among projects currently supported: community mobilization, voluntary counseling and testing, orphan and vulnerable children programs, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, income generation programs, HIV management, home-based care and psycho-social support. READ MORE…
- Responding to United Nation Call to Action for Women and Children in Africa: SECURE THE FUTURE (STF) has long served as an important platform for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s commitment to the health of women and children. In late 2011, responding to a call to action by the United Nations to focus on “Every Woman, Every Child,” the company announced an expansion of those efforts. Its sixth clinical center of excellence, dedicated to treating HIV-infected children and their families, is being located in one of Kenya’s highest HIV prevalence areas. As in other countries, the center will help expand Kenya’s response to pediatric HIV/AIDS through treatment and care, as well as technical support and guideline development. A five-year (2012-2016), $2 million commitment by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation was also announced in 2011 to incorporate breast and cervical cancer training into its Technical Assistance Program (TAP) model in South Africa and Lesotho. The Foundation also committed to increase TAP trainings relating to orphans and vulnerable children as well as to grandmother empowerment. Work in these areas will be expanded in Swaziland and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Joins Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Women’s Health Initiative: A major public-private initiative announced in September 2011 by the U.S. Department of State, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the George W. Bush Institute, PEPFAR and UNAIDS – called Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon – represents an innovative partnership that seeks to leverage existing HIV infrastructure and platforms in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America to help combat breast and cervical cancer – two of the leading causes of cancer in women. As one of the initiative’s founding corporate participants, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has committed up to $2 million over the next five years through its SECURE THE FUTURE (STF) program for breast and cervical cancer community-based care, awareness and education in Lesotho and South Africa. In addition, STF had already incorporated breast cancer training in its TAP faculty offerings.
- Capacity-Building: Good Clinical Practices – Some 2,500 health care professionals have been trained on Good Clinical Practices (GCP) at hospitals and medical schools in sub-Saharan Africa thanks to the efforts and support of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. About 200 were trained in 2010, the latest year for which information is available. Such practices are useful not only in clinical trial environments, but also in hospital and clinical settings where patients are seen.
- Other Examples of Capacity-Building for HIV in Africa: The Luthando Psychiatric and HIV Clinic in Soweto, South Africa, may be the only specialized facility caring for patients who are both mentally ill and HIV-infected. Its work was catalyzed by a TAP project in 2008 to provide psychosocial support and occupational therapy. Now in 2011, about 450 mentally ill patients with HIV better adhere to treatments, despite concerns elsewhere that such patients could never follow antiretroviral therapy. That partnership created a model for others. In 2009, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Health Ministry sought TAP assistance to update its national psycho-social policies, guidelines and training manuals, and enhance services for HIV-infected patients. This project benefited from productive consultative partnerships with two TAP faculty members (from Kenya and Ghana) and local resources. And, demonstrating how partnerships can expand, initial efforts in Tanzania to help grandmothers raise AIDS orphans by partnering with an existing grandmothers group supported through earlier STF efforts are now being coordinated with a recently opened Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence in Mwanza, Tanzania, operated by STF’s long-term partner, the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. One important lesson learned from partners is that South-South technical support is more efficient, cost effective and culturally sensitive than North-South training and helps build, sustain and enhance capacity and capabilities. A second lesson learned is that effective management of chronic diseases – especially in resource-limited settings – requires community involvement to make progress and achieve better health. We’ve incorporated both in leveraging the work of large multinational organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Through TAP, operational research supported by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is underway on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
- Dedicated Children’s AIDS Clinics in Africa: Bristol-Myers Squibb – partnering with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative and Texas Children’s Hospital – has already opened four Children’s Clinical Centers of Excellence (Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Uganda). These were joined by its newest center, opened in 2011 in Tanzania. Bristol-Myers Squibb soon plans to break ground on a new center in Kisumu, Kenya, in partnership with the Kenyan government. Each center was funded at $2-2.5 million. In addition, the Foundation funded a $2 million satellite network of clinics in Lesotho, several of which have been completed and others of which are still under construction. Today some 97,000 patients are under care in these clinics and their satellite sites – 85 percent of them children.
- World’s First Pediatric AIDS Corps Continues to Evolve: The Foundation, in partnership with the Baylor College of Medicine, provided a $22 million, five-year grant, to establish the Pediatric AIDS Corps, where young pediatricians from the U.S. sign on for 1-2 year stints to work in the Bristol Myers Squibb-Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Clinical Centers of Excellence in Africa –Africa’s first dedicated pediatric AIDS clinics – centers developed and supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb and staffed and operated by the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. The Pediatric AIDS Corps also works in a network of associated rural clinics, treating HIV-infected children and their families, and training other health care professionals. Each month, approximately 2,000 local professionals receive some training in this network of clinics, while another 125 receive more intensive clinical mentoring. The Corps is the first and only program of its kind in the world. In July 2011, the Pediatric AIDS Corps became the Texas Children’s Global Health Service Corps, broadening its mission to include other diseases afflicting sub-Saharan Africa beyond HIV, with 32 doctors serving. Advances by this group in local provision of care and treatment services allows for a smaller number of physicians. At its peak, some 59 physicians were serving in these clinics at any one time. Now local professionals have been trained to take their place. In fact, more than 50 outreach sites now have taken full responsibility for their patient populations. The new Global Health Service Corps will be deployed in Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, Swaziland and Ethiopia.
- New Partnership with WHO Focuses on TB Co-Infections: Another important innovation focuses on the neglected problem of tuberculosis (TB) co-infections for HIV/AIDS patients. The association between TB and HIV can be addressed, particularly since TB is curable. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 percent of the world’s HIV/TB burden is in Africa, where South Africa is ranked second to Swaziland among areas most affected. In response, the Foundation developed a faculty offering based on successful projects in South Africa. This approach integrates community outreach for adherence to tuberculosis and HIV treatment and management protocols with community-based approaches for education, case identification, rapid diagnosis and follow-up treatment. Progress has occurred in part because grant recipients build on community-based approaches they initiated earlier for HIV through SECURE THE FUTURE. Current efforts extend these programs and create models to be offered by TAP by creating standardization around operational effectiveness, processes, monitoring and evaluation. This innovative approach has garnered the WHO’s attention. In 2011, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation announced a two year, $1,200,000 grant to support the WHO’s Stop TB (STB) strategy as part of its efforts to combat HIV in Africa. The funding will help strengthen the involvement of non-governmental organizations in community-based TB and TB/HIV care in South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of the Congo. READ MORE…
Asia: Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
- Since 2002, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Delivering Hope (Hepatitis Awareness, Prevention and Care) program has supported 32 interventions in China, Taiwan, India and Japan. The efforts focus on empowering patients, families and communities; identifying and training community-based health “sentries” – lay, auxiliary and non-specialist health professionals; seeking innovative channels for promoting disease awareness and education; and raising the profile of viral hepatitis as a public health issue. In China, 14 grants totaling $4 million have been awarded as part of this effort. In India, 12 grants totaling $2.8 million have been awarded. It is estimated that the education and awareness programs these grants supported reached more than 20 million people. Furthermore, programs supported by the grants trained more than 150,000 health workers, vaccinated more than 600,000 people against hepatitis B, and informed health policy in China and in India. A grant in India helped scale up hepatitis B programs to cover an entire State through a public/private partnership. Delivering Hope was featured at the 2009 and 2010 Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) Congress.
- In 2011, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation awarded four new grants to help improve awareness, prevention and care of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in China and India. The grants total nearly $1 million and bring the Foundation’s commitment to reducing hepatitis-related health disparities in Asia to $8 million over the past three years. The grant recipients were announced at the APASL 2011 Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, where leaders in the hepatology field gathered to promote scientific advancement and education in the Asia Pacific region. Delivering Hope hepatitis B and hepatitis C efforts in India and China support programs for disease awareness, prevention, support and care as well as stigma prevention. Specifically the Foundation is initiating harm reduction programs for hepatitis C in health care settings across India and China. It is also helping support innovative examinations of the epidemiology of hepatitis B, including the total cost and health and economic burden to affected countries of the disease.
Central & Eastern Europe: Cancer Care
- Another area of focus for the Foundation is the public health response to cancer in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in connection with rising rates of breast and lung cancers, lack of hospice and family supportive care and stigma around cancer. Toward that end, the Foundation is creating innovative partnerships with government and civil society, training health care workers, targeting funding at the community level and seeking to improve patient health outcomes and their quality of life through its Bridging Cancer Care grants program. For example, two-year grants announced in 2010 were meant to implement the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium to improve palliative care in several countries in the region, including Russia and Romania. Also in Romania, a two-year, $95,000 grant is supporting a project to increase health literacy and improve the quality of life for cancer patients by educating community nurses and forming partnerships between nurses, patients and libraries. And a $149,000 grant to World Services of LaCrosse in Russia will enhance cancer nursing skills as well as health care system capacity for prevention, screening and care.