2021, April, Newsroom

INTRODUCING THE NMCARES TARGETED THERAPY WELFARE PROGRAMME

Nilai Medical Centre and Roche Malaysia launch a programme for financially challenged breast cancer patients

Introducing the Targeted Therapy Welfare Programme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Negeri Sembilan, 8th April, 2021 – Cancer can be a major cause of financial hardship for patients. The ACTION (ASEAN Costs in Oncology) study showed that more than 75% of cancer patients in Southeast Asia experience death or financial catastrophe 1 year after diagnosis1, hence Nilai Medical Centre (Nilai Medical) today launched the NMCares Targeted Therapy Welfare Programme to help relieve the financial burden of HER2-positive breast cancer patients. Nilai Medical collaborated with Roche Malaysia, one of the market leaders in oncology, to support these patients in need via Roche Cares, a tripartite co-payment model. Patients will be able to gain access to targeted therapy at a subsidised cost under the NMCares Targeted Therapy Welfare Programme and stand to save up to more than half of their treatment costs.

HER2-positive cancer is an aggressive type of breast cancer that grows and multiplies rapidly, and affects 1 in every 5 breast cancer patients worldwide2. HER2-positive breast cancer has traditionally been associated with poor prognosis. However, treatment with HER2-targeted therapies has changed the natural history of this disease3.

The launch of the NMCares Targeted Therapy Welfare Programme is indeed a timely and welcomed announcement in light of hardships faced by financially challenged cancer patients due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This strategic collaboration complements Nilai Medical’s Cancer Assistance Programme, NMCares, which was launched in July 2020 as a long-term programme. A total of RM 8 million allocations is to be disbursed over a five-year period to reduce the financial burden of treatment costs for Malaysian cancer patients.

Dato’ Dr. Haji Noor Azmi bin Ghazali, Deputy Minister of Health, welcomed the partnership between Nilai Medical Centre and Roche Malaysia that led to the launch of the NMCares Targeted Therapy Welfare programme. “The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many Malaysians both financially and socially. The Government has provided various stimulus packages to reduce the financial burden of our communities,” he said in his video message to launch NMCares Targeted Therapy Welfare programme. The programme, he said is timely, as it helps reduce the financial burden of breast cancer patients and their families as well as management of patients at public hospitals. “The Ministry has embarked on public-private partnerships during the Covid-19 pandemic to reduce the congestion at Government hospitals. We hope to continue strengthening such partnerships in cancer care to ensure the continuity of patients’ treatment,” he added.

Present to witness the launch was Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh, President of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM); Lance Duan, General Manager of Roche Malaysia and Jasmine Lau, CEO of Nilai Medical Centre.

Jasmine Lau said, “NMCares has since helped approximately 40 cancer patients gain access to treatment, primarily radiotherapy.  Now, through the collaboration with Roche Malaysia, NMCares is in a position to specifically help women battling HER2-positive breast cancer.

“Every cancer patient we can help is a treasured milestone. We are mindful that each person is someone’s spouse, child, sibling, loved family member or friend. Numbers are certainly not the only measurement of ‘success’. What matters more is that we can extend love, care and support and show them that they are not alone in this journey.

“Ensuring NMCares achieves its long term goals requires industry partnership. We are pleased to now be able to work together with Roche Malaysia to advance our mission,” she added.

Lau also said that this strengthened Nilai Medical’s legacy as a pioneer and long-standing cancer treatment facility as Nilai Medical was known as NCI Cancer Hospital prior to its expansion to a full-fledged multi-disciplinary medical hospital.

Dr. Kuljit also lauded public-private partnerships, saying, “The pandemic has had a major impact on private healthcare organisations and patients as well, in receiving treatments for their illnesses. As such, we at APHM support those in the private sector who step up to help those patients who are financially impacted due to their illness, especially during the pandemic, as it helps bridge the gap for these women in accessing the treatments they need, financially.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Lance Duan said, “The collaboration with Nilai Medical  blends perfectly with Roche’s corporate responsibility aspirations. We share the same goals – helping cancer patients in their journey. When we kick-started our Roche Cares programme in December 2018, our aim was to reduce the financial burden of patients in accessing the Roche medicines they are prescribed to. This tripartite co-payment model is driven by Roche, and involves patients and funders, and we have launched this model with 3 other healthcare organisations in different therapeutic areas. To date, more than 119 patients have enrolled into Roche Cares and we have invested more than RM3 million, as part of our corporate responsibility commitment to patients.”

“At Roche, we understand patient’s struggles and this has spurred us over the years to pursue collaborations with industry partners and continuously focus on delivering better outcomes to more patients faster,” Lance concluded.

For more information on NMCares Targeted Therapy Welfare Programme, contact the WeCare Ambassadors at wecare@nilaimc.com / 010 – 219 9838.