Namibia benefits from pharmaceutical agreements
30 June 2020 | Health
Agreements with a number of pharmaceutical companies will see access to 20 lifesaving cancer
treatments for 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa including Namibia.
“With a growing burden of cancer in Africa, it is crucial that we improve and expand access to high-
quality, affordable treatment,” said Professor Isaac Adewole, co-chair of the African Cancer
Coalition. According to him, by targeting the treatment needed for the cancers that cause the most
deaths, these new agreements will help to improve on the quality of lives and close the mortality
gap for Africans with cancer.
The medications included in the agreements between the American Cancer Society (ACS), the
Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Pfizer, Novertis and Mylan, covers the recommended
regimens for 27 types of cancer and enables complete chemotherapy regimens for the three cancers
that cause the most deaths in Africa, namely breast, cervical and prostate.
These cancers are highly treatable and account for 38% of cancers in the countries covered in the
agreements. The new agreements include both chemotherapies and endocrine therapies aligned to
evidence-based guidelines harmonized for sub-Saharan Africa, and expand access to additional
formulations, including those essential for treating childhood cancer.
According to William Cance, chief medical and scientific officer at ACS, this collaboration has the
potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives. “With cancer cases increasing
at such a rapid rate in sub-Saharan Africa, access to affordable cancer treatment that meets the
quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority is imperative,” he said.
In a statement from Novartis, the cancer burden in Sub-Saharan Africa is growing significantly. In
2018, there were an estimated 811 000 new cases of cancer and 534 000 deaths from cancer in the
region. Cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely to die as those in the United States,
often due to late diagnosis and lack of access to treatment.
Other countries included in the agreements are Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana,
Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra
Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in Africa, as well as Vietnam,
India, and Myanmar in Asia.