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Transforming Cancer Care Through Patient-Centric Partnership

Transforming Cancer Care Through Patient-Centric Partnership

Author: Dion Warren, Vice President, Head, U.S. Oncology Business Unit

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In Indonesia many years ago, I had the privilege of visiting a cancer ward that had been funded through a unique partnership of government, local health care systems and other key stakeholders, all with the shared goal to improve the lives of patients in need.

That day had a profound and lasting impact. For the first time, I could see the real impact that such a partnership had on people. This experience was important in shaping my approach in helping launch, along with many other colleagues, Takeda’s Access to Medicines program. The program collaborates with local health care systems, providers, governments and other stakeholders in low- and middle-income countries across the globe to address barriers to access in various stages of the patient journey.

At Takeda, we believe that strong working relationships with a broad range of partners is key to our success. And the partnerships formed to ensure access and improve the treatment experience and outcomes for patients, such as the Access to Medicines program, are as much of a priority as the science behind the medicines themselves. Here are a few examples of how we are prioritizing patient-centric partnerships at Takeda Oncology and how they have impacted our ability to do more for patients.

Addressing financial burden

One of the most challenging obstacles facing people living with cancer is the associated cost that comes with it. The issue – financial toxicity – is a side effect of a cancer diagnosis that has wide-ranging social and clinical consequences.

At Takeda, we offer a variety of services to help patients manage treatment costs. That said, we know the financial burden of cancer includes not just the direct costs of paying for medication – it’s also major indirect costs, such as loss of productivity or impaired quality of life.

To help tackle this complex issue, we work with organizations like Family Reach, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to removing the financial barriers standing between cancer patients and their treatment. I recently spoke with the CEO of Family Reach, Carla Tardif, about this very topic and how partnerships can play a key role in addressing financial disparities among people living with cancer.

Ensuring access to both care and medicines

To help make sure the medicines we develop reach the patients for whom they were created, we seek input from and engage with payers, patient advocates and others to identify creative solutions and advance access.

For example, we signed one of the first risk-sharing contracts in the U.S. for oncology through a partnership with Point32Health for one of our lung cancer medicines. This agreement made the treatment broadly available to Point32Health’s more than two million members while minimizing financial risk for Point32Health through a structure based on patient outcomes.

This agreement demonstrates how much we value partnering with another key health care stakeholder – payers – to come up with solutions so that all patients, regardless of their background, location, or socioeconomic status, have access to our transformative therapeutics. I look forward to more of these type of agreements in the future.

Improving health equity

As a global pharmaceutical company, we strive to work with others and identify solutions that will address the uneven distribution of and access to healthcare resources.

To help meet the needs of medically underserved people with cancer, Takeda recently launched a community grant program, making up to $1 million in funding available to support ongoing or new initiatives from community-based organizations.

We believe this will serve as a catalyst for real change, resulting in more health equity initiatives that include authentic and sustainable community engagement that can serve as models for other communities.

As these patient-focused partnerships and programs have shown, we can achieve more together than we can alone. Together, we can develop deeper insights and accelerate progress to deliver even better patient care.

Each of our partners has their own path, but our work together puts us on common ground. All toward the shared goal of improving the lives of people living with cancer. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and can’t wait to see what’s to come.

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All rights reserved.   01/23