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Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases for Patients in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Strengthening healthcare system / Improving health literacy
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are any diseases not caused by human-to-human transmission of an infectious agent. Leading NCDs include cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes. Many NCDs are caused by unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, smoking or excessive drinking, and could be prevented by lifestyle improvement. NCDs are not just on the increase in developed countries, but the number of patients suffering from NCDs is also increasing in developing countries. The rising incidence of NCDs not only puts pressure on the healthcare budgets of developing countries, but also leads to economic losses when patients cannot work due to illness.
Astellas is working with external partners on improving access to NCDs prevention, diagnosis and treatment in low- and middle-income countries.
Supported by Astellas Since Launch in 2017
Access Accelerated*1 is a global initiative aimed at improving access to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention, diagnosis and treatment in low- and middle-income countries. More than 20 international pharmaceutical companies are partners in the program, working alongside organizations such as the World Bank, City Cancer Challenge Foundation, PATH, NCD Alliance and World Heart Federation. Astellas has participated in Access Accelerated since its launch in January 2017.
*1 For details about Access Accelerated, please visit the following website:
Under Access Accelerated, Astellas supports ACTION ON FISTULA™*2. Since this program began in 2014, 11 doctors who can perform surgery for obstetric fistula were trained, the fistula treatment network was established and a system that provides routine surgery at multiple cooperating hospitals was prepared. As a result of this program, a total of over 6,200*3 obstetric fistula patients received surgery and their quality of life was improved. Further, 22 support groups were established that take care of patients’ mental well-being and provide economic support and employment support so that patients who have received treatment can reintegrate into society.
Additionally, in the field of oncology, Astellas launched a new initiative in India structured according to patients’ income levels, with the aim of improving their access to its anticancer products since 2017. Moreover, Astellas supported the City Cancer Challenge initiative in Cali city, Colombia. Astellas will continue to push ahead with activities that improve patients’ access to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NCDs in low- and middle-income countries.
*2 ACTION ON FISTULA™: A program launched by the Fistula Foundation. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., which is a European subsidiary of Astellas, provided funds for the Fistula Foundation, aiming to treat a total of over 4,500 patients by 2020.
*3 At the end of the program, a total of 6,223 patients accessed fistula treatment.
Outcomes of Efforts under Access Accelerated
Access Accelerated annual reports introduce outcomes of Access Accelerated. Since its launch on January 18, 2017, over 100 programs have been newly carried out or continued by participating companies. ACTION ON FISTULA™, a program to transform the lives of obstetric fistula patients in Kenya, is also included in this report.
Through participation in Access Accelerated, Astellas is working to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030 in collaboration with various partners.