Partnering with Patients and Physicians
In order to enhance access and improve compliance, we work locally to help patients get the medicines they need. Patient assistance and support programs take various forms in different countries around the world.
Sales of company products for hepatitis B in China remain the largest in the world by volume. The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation’s Delivering Hope program has supported projects in China and India that focus on awareness, prevention and care for those affected by hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). In China, Delivering Hope has supported the training of more than 133,000 health workers on HCV and nearly 4,000 more on HBV.
We’ve developed a number of market-specific initiatives in India to expand access to its medicines and make them more affordable. For example, we offer programs that offer special incentives on drug prescriptions for certain products.
The company uses a third-party patient support agency, Oasis, to manage certain patient-related efforts, including programs to improve compliance and medicine availability for hepatitis B, diabetes and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) patients. In these programs, the Oasis agency delivers medicines to patients and also provides disease education materials and counseling services.
Patient support materials are available in English and translated into nine additional languages used widely in India. Another diabetes management program, Path2Care, has been piloted and managed through a third-party with the goal of improving compliance and patient outcomes. A similar approach is being studied for use in Brazil with rheumatoid arthritis patients.
In addition, we support screening camps in India to help diagnose cases of hepatitis B and type 2 diabetes for underserved patients.
In Argentina, Peru, Chile and Colombia, the company’s single patient use (compassionate use) programs for oncology medicines, along with physician support programs, help physicians gain access to rheumatoid arthritis, oncology and hepatitis B products for their patients.
Infusion and nursing support services for IXEMPRA™ (breast cancer) and ORENCIA® are also becoming more widely available throughout South America.
In Brazil, we improved access to our medicines by providing patients and physicians with disease awareness programs and supportive services, which included discounts to eligible patients on diabetes products.
In addition, as part of the supportive services, Bristol Myers Squibb has worked with the medical community to develop a robust program for adherence that involves training nurse practitioners, pharmacists and others involved in care in best patient practices.
To ensure increased access to our medicines, we continue to seek approval to place our drugs on government reimbursement lists.
Our support of Fundacion “Apoyarte” provides unbranded web-based information to patients and healthcare providers about hepatitis B and HIV treatments, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and transplant medicines in regions with a scarcity of medical resources. In the first three months, nearly 7,000 patients visited the website. This “virtual care” program also uses telemedicine, virtual classrooms and learning modules to strengthen disease awareness for healthcare providers and improve the delivery of care.
Also in Colombia, the “Mi Salud” program has helped patients gain access to treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Drugs in other therapeutic areas are also being added to this program.
The PASOS program connects patients with rheumatoid arthritis with a third-party agency to help them complete government forms and accelerate access to medicines. The program is credited with reducing treatment wait times from four months to just one month.
The indigenous Indian population in this country has high rates of hepatitis B. Company-sponsored efforts to screen people for the disease and help them gain access to treatment involve traveling to extremely remote locations. Some of these areas are deep in the Amazon rainforest where medicines are delivered by boat and canoe.
We’ve aligned with the Russia Health Care 2020 initiatives, aimed at significantly improving the overall healthcare standards, increasing life expectancy and reducing overall mortality. As part of this effort, we’ve begun to implement an online exchange program to update healthcare professionals in more remote areas on HIV care. Furthermore, we actively supports numerous activities to improve patient therapy adherence in HIV, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and hepatitis B (HBV).
Bristol Myers Squibb has been involved in diabetes disease awareness activities and partners for example with the International Diabetes Federation on initiatives to improve diabetes care in Russia.
Through the “Bridging Cancer Care” program of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, seven initiatives to improve cancer care in Russia are supported by Foundation grants. The grants, totaling $1 million, focus on improving the capabilities of nurses in cancer care.
Supported by a strong local Clinical Operations team, we also perform numerous clinical trials in Russia for its innovative new drugs, interacting with the leading scientific medical institutes in Russia and sharing the latest therapeutic insights.
We use video conferencing to educate physicians on the appropriate use of new diabetes medicines. This approach helps to overcome logistical challenges associated with bringing international speakers to local physicians.