Patient Assistance Program for Chinese Cancer Patients

Partnership objective

Improve awareness, testing and treatment of breast and gastric cancer in China through a patient assistance program (PAP).

Improving awareness, testing and treatment of breast and gastric cancer in China through patient assistant programme (PAP). Improving awareness, testing and treatment of breast and gastric cancer in China through patient assistant programme (PAP). Copyright Roche

What are the health needs and challenges?

In China there is limited reimbursement of biologic medicines and a nascent health insurance market, so the majority of patients have to pay out-of-pocket. In addition, physicians often do not prescribe targeted treatments, such as Herceptin (trastuzumab) for treating HER2-postive breast and gastric cancer, due to low quality HER2 testing and suboptimal duration of treatment as patients cannot afford to stay on treatment.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

In collaboration with the Cancer Foundation in China and the Ministry of Health, Roche launched a patient assistance program (PAP) in August 2011 to address affordability. Under the program, after a patient has taken the first six cycles of Herceptin treatment, Roche donates the next eight cycles through the Cancer Foundation so that patients complete the full course of treatment.

Roche also supports patient education programs on breast cancer, offered by the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association, to increase awareness of disease and the importance of early diagnosis, and collaborate with the pathologist’s association to improve HER2 testing quality.

Summary of impact and forward looking information:

Before these programs, less than 15% of people in China with HER2-positive breast cancer received Roche's targeted treatment. Today, this integrated approach of disease awareness, HER2 testing and affordability assistance has doubled the number of people not only receiving treatment, but receiving the full duration of treatment, enabling better health outcomes.

Over 40,000 patients now have access to Herceptin through Roche's patient assistance programme in China.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Roche

Partner(s) Cancer Foundation of China, Chinese Anti-Cancer Association, Chinese Ministry of Health

Type of Partner(s) Government, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Breast Cancer, Cancer, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Differential Pricing, Availability of Treatment - Product Donations, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Mothers, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income, Women

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) China

Start Date 2011

More information Roche Access to Healthcare

Anticipated completion date Ongoing