Will enable Affordable Access to quality Insulins
Bengaluru, India and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: December 15, 2020
Biocon Biologics Ltd., a fully integrated ‘pure play’ biosimilars company and a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd. (BSE code: 532523, NSE: BIOCON), in continuation of its Mission 10 cents affordable insulins program for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC), a faith-based organization active in Africa. CSSC works closely with the government as well as international and national partners to facilitate health and education services. Tanzania will be the first country in Africa that will benefit from this collaboration between Biocon Biologics and CSSC.
As a leading global insulins player, Biocon Biologics is helping unlock universal access to quality insulins in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by making recombinant human insulin (rh-insulin) available for less than 10 U.S. cents per day as a part of its ‘Mission 10 cents’ program. Besides improving access to insulin treatment by making affordable yet high quality insulin available, Biocon Biologics is working with local partners to help strengthen overall healthcare capacity with the aim of supporting all people with diabetes in LMICs, where diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly than in high-income countries.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. With an estimated 1 million diabetes patients, Tanzania is among the top 5 countries for the number of people with diabetes in Africa. An estimated 19.4 million adults aged 20-79 years were living with diabetes in the IDF Africa Region in 2019, representing a regional prevalence of ~4%. Africa is the region with the highest proportion of undiagnosed diabetes, with 60% of adults currently living with diabetes unaware of their condition.1 As per WHO, over 18% or nearly one in five, COVID-19 deaths in Africa were found to be among people with diabetes in an analysis of 14 African countries.
Dr Christiane Hamacher, CEO & Managing Director, Biocon Biologics, said: “We are pleased to partner with the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) for our Mission 10 cents which will enable affordable access to insulins for diabetic patients in Tanzania. Biocon Biologics is leveraging its long standing expertise to shift the access paradigm for patients in LMICs through its high quality, affordable insulins. We aspire to co-create with our partner a patient ecosystem that goes beyond the product to transform the lives of millions of diabetes patients globally.”
Dr Alexander Zach, Global Head of Market Access & Policy, Biocon Biologics, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) to provide people with diabetes in Tanzania affordable access to insulin, which is required to effectively manage their diabetes, without having to endure significant financial hardship. Our vision is to build a long-term, integrated disease management ecosystem that enables affordable diabetes management and better patient outcomes in Tanzania through our partner to expand the reach of our ‘Mission 10 cents’ program.”
Peter Maduki, CEO, CSSC, said: “CSSC works with a network of more than 900 health facilities most of which are located in the rural area serving the rural population. We are delighted to work with Biocon Biologics in this ‘Mission 10 cents’ program. This is a good opportunity to improve management of diabetic patients for better patient outcomes in Tanzania especially the marginalised who could not afford high cost of medicines. We hope we will have a long-lasting relationship with Biocon Biologics and through our network in the country will be able to improve quality of life for thousands of diabetic patients especially the marginalised ones. CSSC will use its newly established pharmaceutical company Mission for Essential Medical Supplies (MEMS) to supply the recombinant human insulin (rh-insulin) to both Faith based, private and public health facilities across the whole country.”
The program is expected to roll-out early next year and will include community-based health promotion, disease awareness campaigns, screening programs, capacity building of health facilities and training of healthcare professionals.
Biocon Biologics’ Mission 10 Cents to Unlock Affordable Access to Quality Insulins
In the run-up to the 100th anniversary of insulin, Biocon Biologics had unveiled its ‘Mission 10 cents’ program in 2019 to unlock universal access to high quality human insulin. The Company is offering recombinant human insulin (rh-insulin) at less than 10 U.S. cents per day, assuming a daily dosage of 40 IU, in LMICs for vials sourced by the government directly from the Company. This is much lower when compared to the blended median patient prices in LMICs of US$ 9 per 10 ml vial1 translating to 36 U.S. cents/ day.
The Company is currently engaging with several governments in Southeast Asia, Africa, Middle East and the Caribbean to explore ways to disintermediate the supply of insulin, and to make sure that insulin pricing does not become a constraint to the well-being of individuals and communities affected by diabetes.
Notes to the Editor:
About Diabetes in Tanzania
The prevalence of diabetes in urban areas has increased from 5 percent in 2007 to 9 percent in 2012. In Tanzania, there were 897,000 reported cases of diabetes in 2017. The prevalence of diabetes is 3.6 percent of the total adult population of 25 million. However, local experts say the number is likely to be more.2 Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases now contribute about a third of all deaths in Tanzania and are a source of an increasing disability in the country. Sub-optimal dietary habits are driving the incidence of diabetes in Tanzania leading to an increasing economic burden. Over 60% of people with diabetes in Tanzania do not know they have it, indicating weaknesses in health seeking behaviour, screening and case detection. Treatment of these diseases mainly takes place in hospitals and the services are limited to primary health care facilities where a majority of Tanzanians seek health services.3 A vast majority of the population remains uninsured, leading to significant inequities in access to care. There are several reasons for huge proportions of diabetes patients left untreated such as far distances from clinics and associated travel costs, complex perception of illness influenced by cultural differences, lack of awareness on complications and seriousness of diabetes.4
- IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th Edition 2019 (https://www.diabetesatlas.org/en/)
- GBD Global Health Data Tool (http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool)
- Ministry of Health’s Strategic and Action Plan for The Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in Tanzania 2016-2020 (https://www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org/sites/default/files/NCD%20Stategic%20Plan%202016%20-%202020.pdf)
- Publication Study: Diabetes in Tanzania: Insulin Supply and Availability, (http://www.rcpe.ac.uk/journal/issue/journal_33_3/6_diabetes_tanzania.pdf)
About Christian Social Services Commission:
Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) is an ecumenical body jointly established by Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) and Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) in 1992 to facilitate social services with the main focus on education and health services provided by member churches. CSSC works closely with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly & Children (MoHCDGEC), Tanzania, as well as, a number of international and national development partners to coordinate and implement health-related projects and programs.
About Biocon Biologics Limited:
Biocon Biologics Limited is a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd, an innovation led global biopharmaceuticals company. Biocon Biologics is engaged in developing high quality, affordable biosimilars aimed at expanding patient access to cutting-edge class of therapies across the world. It is uniquely positioned as a fully integrated ‘pure play’ biosimilars organization globally. Biocon Biologics aspires to transform patient lives through innovative and inclusive healthcare solutions. The Company has a large portfolio of biosimilars under global clinical development with three of these commercialized in many developed markets like US, EU, Australia, and Japan. Biocon Biologics has a product pipeline of 28 molecules, including 11 partnered with Mylan, few with Sandoz and many being developed independently. Biocon Biologics aspires to benefit 5 million patient lives with its biosimilars and attain a revenue milestone of USD 1 billion in FY22. Follow-us on Twitter: @BioconBiologics
About Biocon Limited:
Biocon Limited, publicly listed in 2004, (BSE code: 532523, NSE Id: BIOCON, ISIN Id: INE376G01013) is an innovation-led global biopharmaceuticals company committed to enhance affordable access to complex therapies for chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and autoimmune. It has developed and commercialized novel biologics, biosimilars, and complex small molecule APIs in India and several key global markets as well as generic formulations in the US and Europe. It also has a pipeline of promising novel assets in immunotherapy under development. Website: www.bioconbiologics.com Follow-us on Twitter: @bioconlimited
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