KARACHI       -        The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and the Patients Behbud Society for AKUH (PBS) have entered into a partnership with Eli Lilly Pakistan to provide access to the cancer patients, having meager resources, to targeted therapy treatment.

The partnership was announced during an official signing ceremony held here at the University Hospital premises on Tuesday.

Under this partnership, Lilly will bear 60 percent of the cost of Lilly’s medicine for gastric, lung & colorectal cancer of all eligible patients from AKUH.

According to report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, every year, over 100,000 people are diagnosed with various types of cancers in Pakistan, with breast, lungs, and colorectal cancers being the most commonly diagnosed in the country.

This initiative will provide many patients with a ray of hope for treatment and will improve their quality of life.

Ms Shagufta Hassan, CEO, AKUH, Ammad Siddiqui, GM Lilly and Nadeem Mustafa Khan, President, PBS signed and exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding. Other senior officials from both sides were also present. 

Ammad Siddiqui “Lilly has a presence in Pakistan that goes back over half a century, and we remain committed to bringing our innovations for patients in Pakistan.

“Lilly has always pushed the boundaries of science to make conditions that are incurable today, treatable tomorrow, with a focus on 5 therapeutic areas – diabetes, cancer, immunology, pain and neuro degeneration. We are committed to bringing our innovative treatments to people who need them by ensuring patients have access to our medicines. - a commitment that is exemplified by this very initiative,” he added.

Shagufta Hassan said, “AKUH endeavours to provide access to our healthcare services for needy patients who may not, on account of financial constraints, be able to afford our regular Hospital charges. Patients who receive financial support receive the same level of care as all other patients. Last year alone we spent almost Rs3 billion on welfare programs. Our oncologists and other experts aim to provide the best possible treatment to patients and we plan to increase our capacity to treat more patients.” 

Nadeem Mustafa Khan appreciated Eli Lilly’s support and said, “It is indeed heartening to see our partners like Eli Lilly coming forward to help needy patients by supporting for expensive cancer drugs. The more support we collect, it will enable us to serve more patients with affordability challenges.”

Dr Adnan A Jabbar, Associate Professor and Section Head Medical Oncology, AKUH, said, “Disparity in care is a major challenge across the world with cost of treatment a major contributor in low middle-income countries like Pakistan.