Novartis and The Max Foundation announced today that they will continue their CMLPath to Care collaboration to provide continued access to treatment at no cost for nearly 30,000 current patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), gastrointestinal tumors (GIST) and other rare cancers through 1Q 2022. The two organizations have been long-time collaborators in providing access to care for patients in low- and middle-income countries initially through one of the most innovative patient assistance programs ever implemented on a global scale. More than 90,000 patients have been assisted since the beginning of the collaboration across more than 80 countries, delivering more than 100 million doses of treatment. The long-term partnership centers on a shared commitment to lower disparities in health care in some of the poorest of countries.

One of those touched by this collaboration is Jessica, a young woman from El Salvador. Diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) at age 16, Jessica has received access to Glivec for the past 9 years through the collaboration between Novartis and The Max Foundation. Today Jessica who is now 24 years old, just received her law degree and is currently working on her Masters’ program. “For me”, said Jessica, “this support came to mean hope, a new opportunity to fulfill my purpose in life and not giving up from dreams I had when I received my diagnosis. Currently my disease seems to be under control and I have learned to live with it.”

“Where you live shouldn’t determine your ability to access care and treatment,” said Susanne Schaffert, PhD, President, Novartis Oncology. “Our long-term partnership with the Max Foundation has helped thousands of people in lower and middle-income countries to access treatment at no cost through the CMLPath to Care Program. Our ongoing collaboration will touch the lives of many more patients and continue to close gaps in access to health.”

“Access to cancer treatment provides much more than access to medicine. It allows patients like Jessica to fulfill their dreams and enriches communities well beyond the impact on that patient,” said Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, CEO of The Max Foundation. “We are proud of the thousands of patients‘ lives touched by our long-standing collaboration with Novartis that allows many like Jessica to thrive, and are pleased with our shared continued innovation, commitment and support for underserved patients with CML and other rare cancers in low resource countries.”