The pioneers of access: Making Access Happen Magazine issue 4 out now (4 min read)
Canada, Puerto Rico, Italy, Rwanda and more – the new issue of Making Access Happen goes around the globe to show how lives are changing for the better through pioneering new treatments, programs, medicines and technology.
The word ‘pioneers’ suggests people who achieve a special goal: to be among the first in their endeavors, leading the way for others to follow. Pioneers are courageous (even if they would never describe themselves as such); pioneers are humble – after all, in leading the way, lessons have to be learned. As importantly, pioneers are strong: they persevere despite challenges and setbacks. It’s through efforts, and their example, that our world, and access to healthcare, can improve.
I’m pleased to present a variety of stories about healthcare pioneers in our latest issue of Making Access Happen, as they provide real evidence of how, around the globe, new treatments, programs and even delivery methods are changing for the better.
Our cover story, “Improving lives with medical cannabis,” highlights how patient advocacy groups, researchers and medical companies in Canada are teaming up to be able to offer medical cannabis as a new treatment option for a variety of conditions. Supported by Sandoz Canada, Tilray’s production of controlled-dosing medical cannabis is changing the landscape of medical treatments. However, this treatment is not without questions and even critique. As part of our desire to have an open dialogue about medical access and treatments, our cover story includes interviews with two Canadian physicians. Here, you can learn more about the range of hopes and concerns these medical practioners have in working with this treatment.
Another pioneer of medical treatments is a US technology company, Zipline. Their drones are being used in a ground-breaking partnership with the government of Rwanda. Where infrastructure is weak and roads are impassable in the nation, drones are able to deliver medical products – including blood supplies – wherever it’s needed and fast, even in urgent situations.
Access pioneers are not only those who invent new treatments or methods to transport medicines; they are also the people in healthcare who find ways to bring existing treatments into wider use within communities, and even countries. In our story “Illuminating the path for biosimilars,” you’ll learn about a determined group of business professionals who worked tirelessly, and patiently, to unite communities, medical professionals and the Italian government to address a pressing access issue. The result was a new law that brought patients and doctors in Italy wider access to biosimilars.
Access pioneers are also looking for ways to improve existing treatments in order to increase benefits for patients. This is what we at Sandoz are doing with value added medicines (VAMs). Learn more about how we can increase access with “enhanced versions” of generic medicines in our special report.
In our story “Accessing medicine after Hurricane Maria,” we introduce you to people who pioneer recovery efforts, including access to medicines. In Puerto Rico, Americares, a non-profit team of first responders, is still active to help in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane season. The team arrived immediately after the island was hit by a destructive 2017 hurricane – and they are not leaving until access to medicine and medical treatment is normalized, however long it takes.
These are only a few of the stories you will find in the new issue. We encourage you to read about these pioneers and their journeys to making access happen and to consider: Who else is and what else is changing access to healthcare today? Who are the pioneers we all should know about next – or even right now? You can contribute your ideas and also be a part of the discussion on social media with #MakingAccessHappen. And if you know people who are passionately working to make access happen, or if you’d like to tell us what access to medicines means to you, get in touch: send an email to [email protected]
You can download the pdf of the forth issue of Making Access HappenHERE. We hope you enjoy reading it and look forward to your comments.