Swiss Firm Novartis To Launch Heart, Cancer Drugs In Kenya

The Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis AG launched a portfolio of 15 medicines to treat chronic diseases in low- and low-middle-income countries starting with Kenya.

Wrist bands in support of Merck Serono Diabetes Awareness and Prevention campaign in Africa. Photo/SALATON NJAU

With rising incomes due to an expanding middle class, lifestyle diseases are on the rise in most emerging market economies. Photo/SALATON NJAU


The Basel-based company with a market value of Sh28 trillion on New York Stock Exchange said Thursday that ‘Novartis Access’ will be launched first in Kenya, Ethiopia and Vietnam, with expansion to eventually include 30 countries.

Kenya is witnessing a rapid growth in cancer and heart diseases that have put a strain on the country’s finances with the government under pressure to equip hospitals with cancer treatment machines and expertise.

With rising incomes due to an expanding middle class, lifestyle diseases are on the rise in most emerging market economies.

Novartis said the portfolio addresses cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory illnesses and breast cancer and will be offered to governments, non-governmental organizations and other public-sector healthcare providers for $1 per treatment, per month.

– Business Daily