World CML Day: DOH, CML Alliance of the Philippines, Novartis celebrate 2 decades of medical innovation
INQUIRER.net BrandRoom / 11:38 AM September 22, 2021
The 2020 Globocan report showed that leukemia is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in the Philippines and the 9th most common cancer type with more than 5,700 new cases in 2020.(1) Advances in treatment and care have transformed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) into a disease where patients, if treated effectively, have the chance to live a normal and long life.
“Touched By Max, Inc. is privileged to partner with the Department of Health and Novartis Healthcare Philippines in celebrating World CML Day, with the theme ‘20 years of life-changing therapies, but worldwide access is still needed’. We thank the DOH for launching the Cancer, Supportive Care, and Palliative Care Medicine Access Program (CSPMAP) in 26 government hospitals,” said Rod Padua, President of Touched By Max, Inc.
“On behalf of our CEO, Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, I would like to say that it is a big honor for The Max Foundation to partner with DOH and Novartis in enhancing treatment access for CML patients in the country,” said Nelia Medina, Program Officer of The Max Foundation.
Dr. Clarito Cairo, Medical Officer IV and Program Manager of the National Integrated Cancer Control Program, Cancer Control Division, Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, DOH, also highlighted the financial support the CSPMAP will receive. “The Cancer and Supportive-Palliative Medicines Access Program (CSPMAP) shall be fully funded by the Cancer Assistance Fund (CAF). It aims to provide free medicines for the identified priority set of cancer types that are not yet fully covered by PhilHealth and to minimize or eliminate out-of-pocket costs among the target population.”
“Novartis is deeply committed to transforming the lives of people living with blood cancers and life-threatening blood disorders. We believe that anyone living with these conditions has the right to a life free from pain, free from symptoms, and free from disease – this is our vision for the future,” said Joel Chong, General Manager for Novartis Oncology.
In line with the treatment support provision of the newly enacted National Integrated Cancer Control Act (NICCA) of 2019, the DOH CSPMAP will be implemented in the following government hospitals across the country:
More than 110 attendees of the World CML Day virtual event were provided with tips and guidance on how to further navigate COVID-19 and protect patients from exposure to the virus. A 45-minute session gave patients the opportunity to ask questions from guest doctors.
“When CML is kept at bay and kept dormant, medication can be discontinued. That’s why we need to be aggressive in monitoring the disease. When detected and managed early, we can control the progression of CML,” emphasized Dr. Rico Tee, Consultant Internist – Hematologist at the Philippine General Hospital.
“On behalf of Novartis, we thank The Max Foundation, Touched by Max and the CML Alliance of the Philippines for organizing this webinar awareness that comprehensively discussed the whole patient journey – from awareness, treatment to access. We share your vision of equitable access to medicine and a future free of blood cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Christine Fajardo, Patient Engagement Head of Novartis.
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