Improving access to health in Latin America is everyone’s commitment, according to Roche
Overcoming the lack of access to health security in Latin America must be a “multidimensional” commitment involving pharmacists, doctors, patients and governments, said Efe Jörg-Michael Rupp, president of Roche in the region.
Rupp, who participated today as a speaker at the eleventh “Eyeforpharma LatAm” conference in Miami, USA, explained to Efe that it is a discussion in which “patients should be in the center”.
The director said that low levels of patient awareness of diseases and late implementation of innovative therapies are some of the main barriers to access to health care in the region.
This was compounded by insufficient financial resources and deficiencies in the health infrastructure, in addition to the lack of training of health professionals.
Rupp was one of the participants in the congress, which brings together more than two hundred leaders of the global pharmaceutical industry to also analyze relationships between patients and doctors in Latin America, as well as digital innovation.
The director told Efe that the differentiation of the problem in “urban areas, rural areas and large cities” represents a challenge for all actors involved in improving access to health.
“Every city in Latin America, each region is different, our focus is to find customized solutions to local problems, We do not believe that a single solution fits for everything,” he said.
In addition to this local approach, Rupp said that sustainability is required and this implies “involving physicians, patients, communities to find solutions that work” and that they are timely.
The director of the Swiss pharmacy said that in Colombia, for example, between 40 and 50% of patients with breast cancer are diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease.
He reported that the economic burden of cancer in Latin America exceeds $ 4 billion and emphasized the importance of providing more support to strengthen public health systems in the region for disease control.
Rupp highlighted, for example, the existence of more than 120 “pink clinics” in Colombia to deal with the early detention of breast cancer.
He explained that in this as in other initiatives Roche begins to detect incidence of diseases in certain communities and goes to patient associations to raise awareness of potential patients.
This is followed by making sure “to put on the table all the actors involved” to work on a solution, which if successful, is multiplied in other places, he said.
Rupp emphasized that they always have to have the help of “many” stakeholders, including governments, to make these solutions sustainable.
The director said that sustainability is sought in the health system, but also that “allows us to provide new standards of care for patients.”
Rupp, on the other hand, pointed out that pharmaceutical innovation is at a much faster pace than improvements in access to health.
He said that having better treatments and medicines to treat diseases every day is good news, but at the same time represents a challenge: to reach patients.
To this end, he stressed the need for a “multidimensional” and sustainability approach.
“At Roche, we are committed to multidisciplinary collaboration in the search for the development of effective and lasting solutions that benefit as many patients as possible, taking into account the specific needs of each country in the region,” said Rupp the forum that ends tomorrow , may 19.