A Decade of Impact
Developing and providing affordable options for expensive therapies that require deep scientific capabilities is at the core of our purpose
Across the world, there is evidence of the fact that the entry of a low-cost option of an expensive medicine provides a significant fillip to access of the medicine. This spurt in usage does not indicate an increased incidence of the disease, but rather the stark reality that people who otherwise cannot afford the medicine now can have access to treatment. The Dr. Reddy’s brand of Rituximab has been a shining example of this over its ten year journey.
Developing and providing affordable options for expensive therapies that require deep scientific capabilities is at the core of our purpose. In 2007, we developed, the world’s first biosimilar of the drug ‘Rituximab’ used to treat certain autoimmune diseases and types of cancer. In India, originator brand of Rituximab was launched in 2002 at a price beyond the reach of most patients suffering from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) at a price significantly lower than the originator rituximab price. Over the last 10 years, we have helped increase patient access to Rituximab 10-fold and made its mark across the globe.
Patient programmes to ensure affordability
At Dr. Reddy’s being dynamic is always complimented with being empathetic. We did not stop at just being pioneers of bringing in affordability to the treatment of NHL, we also reached out to patients who still needed a helping hand and met them halfway. In 2006 we launched Sparsh, a patient assistance program to help economically challenged patients complete chemotherapy treatment. The program serves those who suffer not only from the disease, but also from the burden of high-cost treatment. Oncologists are empowered to decide the extent of support to be provided to patients. Based on the oncologists’ recommendation either 2 or 3 doses are provided for free in a 6 cycle chemotherapy regime enabling them to complete the treatment. Just to illustrate, a treatment that would typically cost a patient about INR 1.5 – 2 lakhs could come down by more than half the amount based on the doctor’s judgment. Through tie-ups with service providers, we ensure that the free doses are delivered directly to patients even in tier II and III cities. More than 15,000 patients have been provided assistance under Sparsh with a cumulative value of INR 60 crores, since the inception of the program.
Beyond access: Early diagnosis to manage the disease burden
Early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes for patients and significant savings in the overall cost of treatment. We are therefore investing efforts in the area of early diagnosis by through several initiatives. We partnered with a leading diagnostic lab to provide access to interior parts of the country to improve and confirm diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and thereby reduce time between diagnosis and treatment. We conduct several programs spread awareness about early warning signs of cancer by partnering with leading oncologists of the country. We partnered with the Indian Cooperative Oncology Network to focus on continuing medical education (CMEs) for doctors across India, benefiting over 17,000 GPs and other physicians till date. We have also been able to roll out an oncology training program ratified by the government for all the 336 medical colleges of India.
This communication is intended for public awareness purpose only and does not substitute advice of a Medical Practitioner. Please consult your doctor for any medical advice.