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News Agency of Nigeria

Pfizer committed to improving access to healthcare financing – Official

The company has different patient assistance programmes that would ensure that patients start, stay on and complete their treatments.

By Oluwafunke Ishola

Mr Olayinka Subair, Pfizer Nigeria’s Country Manager and Cluster Lead, West Africa, says the company is committed to assisting in healthcare financing and improving treatment outcomes for patients.

Subair, in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos, said that the company has different patient assistance programmes that would ensure that patients start, stay on and complete their treatments.

According to him, the programmes form part of Pfizer’s efforts to set standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products, including innovative medicines and vaccines.

He said that the company launched Project Afya, a patient assistance programme, aimed at improving access to life-saving medications and boosting cancer care and auto-immune disease management.

“Project Afya is supporting patients suffering from two disease areas namely Oncology (specifically breast cancer) and Rheumatoid Arthritis in low income urban and rural areas.

“In partnership with IQVIA, the platform is helping to reduce therapy costs for eligible patients with the support of government’s health insurance, in collaboration with key partners such as NGOs and charities,” he said.

Subair noted that the project was significant for Nigeria where research showed that breast cancer accounts for 16.4 per cent of the cancer mortality rate.

He added that this was followed by cervical cancer with 12 per cent and prostate cancer put at 11 per cent.

Subair said that auto-immuned diseases such as Rheumatoid was a significant medical condition in Nigeria, affecting mostly women.

“Project Afya is aimed at alleviating some of the pressure on the country’s already overburdened healthcare system, where large numbers of people need greater access to specialised medicines.

“Addressing this healthcare gap will go a long way toward improving treatment outcomes,” he said.

Subair said that the firm, in partnership with mPharma, also introduced Project Taksit, to address the challenges of healthcare financing and access for patients.

According to him, the project is providing patients with immediate access to their medication, while enabling them to pay over 30 days.

He added that majority of the enrollees were patients paying out of pocket and insured patients whose plan was not covering the full length of hospital stay.

Subair said that the programme was being implemented in more than 20 hospitals with plans to scale up.

According to him, universal healthcare coverage in Nigeria has faced serious setbacks with the majority of the populace paying out of pockets.

Subair noted that the breakthrough therapies offered by Pfizer through the projects were aimed at extending and significantly improving the lives of people.

He said that the company would continue to collaborate with healthcare providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare services. (NAN)