Novartis to Supply Low-Cost Drugs to Kenya, Ethiopia and Vietnam

September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015.

Novartis has begun a program to supply 15 low-cost medicines to fight chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure in Kenya, Ethiopia and Vietnam, Reuters reports.

The drugmaker says its scheme will supply drugs for $1 per treatment per month to governments, aid groups and others for a range of conditions. Drugs to be supplied include valsartan for hypertension, vildagliptin for diabetes, and from its Sandoz division generics including tamoxifen for breast cancer (which costs $100 per month in the US). Novartis aims to expand the scheme to 30 developing countries.

Novartis reportedly chose Kenya, Ethiopia and Vietnam because of "the problems people there have in obtaining sophisticated medicines" and because it already has a strong presence in those countries.