Novartis Access programme

Novartis Access is a new company-wide business model that supports access to medicine in low- and lower-middle income countries.


  • What: Novartis Access markets a portfolio of 15 on- and off-patent products for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to national governments for USD 1 per treatment per month.
  • Objective: It aims to reach 20 million patients per year by 2020, supplying more than 5 billion tablets per year to these markets.
  • Details: The Novartis Access portfolio is offered as a basket to governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders in the public sector.
  • Scope: The programme is being implemented in Kenya and Ethiopia, and Novartis plans to introduce it in 30 additional countries.

Looking closer

Launched in 2015, Novartis Access is a new, company-wide business model, to support further access to medicines in low- and lower middle-income countries. The Novartis Access portfolio focuses on affordability and availability of 15 on- and off-patent Novartis medicines addressing key NCDs: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and breast cancer.

The Novartis Access portfolio is offered as a basket to governments, NGOs and other stakeholders in the public sector at a price of USD 1 per treatment per month. Novartis negotiates with each buying-party the size of the individual drug basket within the portfolio of these 15 on- and off-patent medicines.

The programme was launched in Kenya and Ethiopia in 2015 and the company aims to introduce it in 5 additional countries in 2016. Overall, Novartis aims to reach 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe with this programme.

The first Novartis Access treatments arrived in Kenya in February 2016. Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS), a faith-based not-for-profit organisation, is warehousing and distributing the medicines. The arrival of the consignment at MEDS represents a significant reduction in the cost of treatment.

In March 2016, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Novartis launched a partnership to improve access to healthcare in fragile populations in the context of the Novartis Access portfolio. The partnership focuses on improving care and treatment for Syrian refugees in Lebanon with NCDs.

Treating 20 million patients with chronic diseases means supplying more than 5 billion tablets per year to these markets. These patients will need access to physicians and other healthcare specialists in order to be properly diagnosed, treated and educated for these diseases. Some patients will need treatment for the rest of their lives. Many of these capabilities are not consistently available in lower income countries, and will need to be built in partnership with governments and NGOs as Novartis expands the programme.

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