Going extra mile for HER2-positive breast cancer patients

TO assist those HER2-positive breast cancer patients, Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital and Roche Malaysia jointly launched an initiative to reduce cost of treatment for low-income group.
Roche Malaysia will supply 180 vials of targeted therapy while Mount Miriam has pledged RM1 million from its Needy Cancer Patient Fund to assist the group of cancer patients under the programme, known as Mount Miriam-Roche Cares Programme,
This type of HER2-positive breast cancer is one that promotes the growth of cancer cell.
Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital in Tanjung Bungah.
Speaking on the hospital’s commitment towards this programme, its chief executive officer (CEO) Joan Lim-Choong explained that eligible patients for this type of cancer are entitled to the therapy at a subsidised price of only RM2,100 per cycle.
This was in stark contrast to a huge amount of RM8,900 for a standard treatment, thus enabling patients to gain a substantial savings of up to 75 percent per cycle. The standard treatment requires up to 18 cycles.
“It  will take almost a year to complete full cycle,” she said after attending  the launching of the programme at Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital in Tanjung Bungah today.
Chow speaking in his speech.
The partnership by Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital and Roche Malaysia will serve as an exemplary responsibility initiative for pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organisations.
Roche Malaysia’s business unit director Vinod Narayanan welcomed the engagement activities with the hospital in a bid to expand accessibility to the patients.
This programme would definitely assist eligible patients from low income group to access Roche medicines.
This welfare fund could see both sides providing the cancer patients with targeted medicine at a lower cost, according to Vinod.
“We also have plans to expand this plan to other therapeutic areas,” he added.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was present to launch the programme, also shared similar views as this would enable the state government to effectively allocate resources to meet people’s healthcare needs.
“Such financial assistance can reduce patients’ and families’ mental stress while undergoing treatment.
Chow with Vinod (left) and Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital’s chairman Dean Liu posing for a photo.
“I was informed as of today, there is already a patient enrolled for this programme. Congratulations to both Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital and Roche Malaysia,” he said.
This 12-month programme, starting from March 1, 2019 to Feb 29, 2020, is opened to 20 new HER2-positive breast cancer patients on a first come, first served basis.
Those interested can apply to the hospital’s Medical Social Welfare Department, while the eligibility assessment will be done in accordance to the Needy Cancer Patient Fund policy.
Story by Edmund Lee
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi
Video by Ahmad Adil Muhamad