UAE expands affordable medicines project for expatriates

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Dubai: A new agreement has been signed to expand the reach of the United Arab Emirates’ Hand-in-Hand initiative, which provides affordable medicines to uninsured and low-income expatriate patients.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Axios, a global healthcare consultancy, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Annex to expand the cover of Hand in Hand.

The initiative includes those whose insurance does not cover the cost of treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension, multiple myeloma, active ulcerative colitis and psoriatic arthritis.

The initiative covers drug assistance plans, based on the assessment of non-Emirati patients who are uninsured or whose medical insurance does not cover the cost of treatment. The initiative also includes cost sharing with patients or the supporting organization based on their ability to bear the cost of treatment.

Extend the program

The MoU was first signed in December 2018 and approximately 712 eligible patients have benefited. In April 2019, a program extension was signed to provide new drugs to patients with the aforementioned conditions.

The agreement is part of the ministry’s, Janssen’s and Axios’ commitment to improving access to innovative medicines, especially for low-income expatriate patients who cannot afford the costs of their treatment.

The latest MoU was signed by Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Deputy Undersecretary for Health Regulatory Sector, MoHAP; Jamie Phares, Managing Director, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson; and Anas Al Safarini, Senior Director, MENA, Axios International.

The agreement was signed at the US pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai, in the presence of US Consul General Meghan Gregonis and the accompanying delegation, as well as several Janssen and Axios officials.

For the benefit of expatriates

Al Amiri said, “MoHAP is committed to providing the best medicines to all low-income expatriate patients in the country. In this context, we launched the Hand in Hand initiative in cooperation with Jansen and Axios International in 2018, and we are currently working to expand the reach of this initiative to support and improve patient access to innovative medicines.

He added, “The initiative targets low-income expatriate patients whose insurance does not cover the full cost of treatment to improve their adherence to the treatment plan prescribed by their treating physician. The initiative also covers eligible low-income non-Emirati patients who are uninsured, underinsured and financially distressed patients.

“A better life for patients”

Gregonis said: “The Hand-in-Hand Memorandum of Understanding we are celebrating today is a perfect example of public-private partnership and shared commitment to patients and will help provide better access to innovative medicines, which would ensure a better life for so many patients and their family members. »

Phares said, “The MoU is part of our cooperation with MoHAP and Axios to develop support programs for non-Emirati low-income patients in the UAE. As part of this constructive cooperation, we facilitate access to our innovative and affordable medicines for low-income non-Emirati patients and the healthcare system as a whole. We are committed to providing faster and fairer access to medicines, which is part of our commitment to providing our medicines to patients at an affordable cost.

Access to medicines

Al Safarini said, “The Hand in Hand initiative supports patients and responds to their aspirations when it comes to providing needed and improved access to innovative medicines, reflecting our commitment at Axios to support the efforts of MoHAP and of Janssen to supply medicines to patients.

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