Joining forces to advance public health
The Novartis Malaria Initiative journey began in 1994 with a joint venture between Novartis and Chinese partners (Academy of Military Medical Sciences, The CITIC Group and Kunming Pharmaceutical Corporation) to develop, test and manufacture an antimalarial treatment – the first collaboration of its kind in Chinese history.
Later, other critical partnerships in China have included alliances with suppliers to grow Artemisia annua to supply the raw ingredient needed for our artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). These have enabled to increase treatment deliveries from four million in 2004 to more than 100 million in 2011.
“There is no better partner than Novartis in the fight against malaria. The company’s contribution is exemplary and inspiring.”
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University
In a landmark agreement with the World Health Organization in 2001, Novartis committed to making the therapy available without profit to the public sector of malaria-endemic countries. This agreement was unprecedented in the pharmaceutical industry. Multiple groups including UNICEF, UNITAID, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the US President’s Malaria Initiative, the World Bank, Missionpharma, Doctors Without Borders and others have since been involved in this effort. This has led to the delivery of 500 million treatments to malaria-endemic countries, impacting more than 1 million lives.1
Although the agreement expired in May 2011, Novartis continues to provide treatments on the same terms as before to the public sector of malaria-endemic countries.
In 2009, Novartis and Medicines for Malaria Venture launched a new pediatric formulation, becoming the first dispersible fixed-dose ACT specially tailored to infants and children.
In 2010, SMS for Life, a public-private partnership initiated by Novartis, and involving IBM, Vodacom, Vodafone, Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Ministry of Health in Tanzania under the framework of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, led to a dramatic reduction of antimalarial stock-outs in rural health facilities in Tanzania. The program is now being rolled out to other African countries with new partners.
Finally, we started a new alliance in 2010 with the Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria, a Global Fund financing mechanism designed to expand access to ACTs at a subsidized price in both the private and public sectors.
The Novartis Malaria Initiative also counts ongoing research collaborations with public and private organizations worldwide. We work in close cooperation with scientists across the Novartis commercial research network as well.
We believe that partnerships are vital to advancing access and healthcare delivery to patients – thus achieving significant and long-lasting improvements. No part of society alone can solve challenges of that magnitude and achieving a sustainable health future cannot happen without more public-private partnerships.
- Data on file at Novartis Malaria Initiative. “Impacted lives” is an estimate based on the ratio between annual malaria cases and deaths published in the WHO World Malaria Report, a distribution analysis of the cumulatively supplied treatments over time and their efficacy rate as per published clinical trial data.