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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Malaysia
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Roche (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd hailed at the Malaysia International Business Awards

The company won in the pharmaceuticals category for championing patient group initiatives.

Roche Malaysia raised the trophy in the pharmaceuticals category at the recently concluded Malaysia International Business Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review.

The inaugural awards programme honours the most outstanding projects and innovative best practices amongst international companies in Malaysia.

Roche Malaysia recognises the important role of patient groups in amplifying patients’ needs to help shape policies that help patients improve standards of care.

Previously, patient support groups only focused on providing counselling and fundraising but there was not enough access to highly specialised medicines.

“As medicines advanced in various therapeutic areas, patients in Malaysia did not get access to these medicines. This was due to the lack of patient voices asking for such treatments. The Health and Finance Ministries made healthcare policy decisions independently without input from patient groups. Unlike their counterparts in Europe and America, patient groups were not empowered to advocate for better outcomes and quality of life,” said Lance Duan, General Malaysia of Roche Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Since 2017, Roche has collaborated with patient groups to build advocacy capabilities, media and communication skills workshops, leadership skills and knowledge on policy shaping through local, regional and global workshops and best practice sharing sessions. Some of these events include the International Experience Exchange for Patient Organisations and forums at the World Cancer Congress on Personalised Healthcare.

“We provided platforms for the groups to engage with stakeholders and policymakers to collaborate with multi-stakeholders to jointly work on access solutions, such as The Economist Roundtable on War on Cancer, the first patient sharing session with Members of Parliament, the first cancer survivors' forum and forum on improving treatment for advanced breast cancer patients,” Lance noted.

In order to engage with stakeholders, Lance explained that patient groups needed tools and data.

“Roche was at the forefront to support initiatives, such as funding a survey on cancer survivors’ needs and concerns as well as the state of cancer care in Kuching. Roche also supported the launch of Cancerfly Network, an online platform that helps cancer survivors return to the workforce or start a business. ACTION, or the Asean Costs in Oncology study, is another on the social and economic impact of cancer care in Malaysia, which is a compilation of cancer patients’ journey that was distributed to politicians and public,” he added.

To further grow the voices of support groups, Roche supported the formation of a lung cancer support group and the Young Cancer Survivors’ Group under the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) and the Society for Cancer Advocacy and Awareness Kuching, which met the needs of neglected patients and caregivers.

By identifying global opportunities, Roche Malaysia helped initiate Malaysia’s bid for the global project, City Cancer Challenge, with Universiti Malaya and National Cancer Society of Malaysia.

In October, it was announced that Malaysia won the bid for Greater Petaling and this will further enhance public-private partnership in Malaysia to jointly provide solutions to reduce cancer mortality in Greater Petaling by 2025.

Because of these developments, patient groups are now included in roundtable discussions with the Finance and Health Ministry on Budget 2020 and the 12th Malaysia Plan. Patient groups are now sharing their input to further improve the Peka B40 and MySalam insurance.

Within the last two years, the voice of patient groups has increasingly doubled, reaching the members of parliament who champion the same healthcare advocacy.

The Malaysia International Business Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held on 3 December 2019 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

This year’s nominations were judged by an outstanding panel that includes Yee Wing Peng, Malaysia Managing Partner and SEA Chinese Services Group Leader at Deloitte; Esther Yap, Partner, Audit at Mazars; Dato’ Robert Teo, Chairman at RSM Malaysia; Dr T Y Teoh, Country Managing Partner at ShineWing TY Teoh; Chan Siew Mei, Partner and Head of Advisory at KPMG; and Andrew Heng, Group Managing Partner at Baker Tilly Malaysia.

If you would like to join the 2020 awards and be acclaimed for your company’s exceptional technology innovations, please email Jannie Beduya at jannie@charltonmediamail.com

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