Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—or chronic diseases—are the leading cause of death globally. Their prevalence is growing fastest in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), where around 75 percent of deaths from NCDs occur. Unhealthy diets and tobacco use are growing in developing regions, yet timely and affordable access to treatments for illnesses caused by these factors is limited. Projections indicate that chronic illnesses will cost society USD47 trillion over the next two decades due to reduced workforce productivity, curbed economic growth, and reinforced poverty.
Novartis, whose portfolio of medicines is strong in NCD treatments, recognized its capacity to mobilize resources and help minimize the human and economic toll NCDs place on LMICs while strengthening business in new markets. The company’s legacy in helping communities tackle infectious diseases, such as malaria and leprosy, and in building social business models such as Healthy Family in India, Kenya and Vietnam provided Novartis with relevant experiences and strategic insight to develop its most recent initiative, Novartis Access.