March 8, 2021

CHAI and ACS announce agreement to expand Cancer Access Partnership  

American Cancer Society and Clinton Health Access Initiative logos

  • Expanded partnership will further increase access to leading-edge cancer treatments in low- and middle-income countries including biologics and hormonal therapies
  • Agreements could generate 60 percent savings on purchased medications
  • Announcement supports launch of World Health Organization’s Global Breast Cancer Initiative 

March 8, 2021 — The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) today announced the expansion of the Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) to further increase access to lifesaving cancer treatments in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. The announcement was made alongside the launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new Global Breast Cancer Initiative which aims to bring together partners to reduce global breast cancer mortality by 2.5 percent per year, thereby averting 2.5 million breast cancer deaths globally between 2020 and 2040.

Biocon Biologics Limited will join the growing list of companies in the CAP which currently includes Novartis, Pfizer, and Viatris. This expanded partnership will make 26 medications in 39 formulations affordably available to low- and middle-income countries across Africa and Asia, including key chemotherapies, hormonal therapies, biologics, and supportive therapies essential for the treatment of 30 cancers, including breast cancer. The agreements will provide access to 25 regimens for the treatment of breast cancer— which is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer globally—and has the potential to generate an expected overall savings of 60 percent on purchased medications for governments.

“This expanded partnership takes us another step closer to ensuring that the same cancer treatments are available to patients no matter where they live,” stated Dr. Iain Barton, CEO of CHAI.

“Every person with cancer deserves affordable treatment that meets the high quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority and these new agreements will make that possible for many people in Africa and Asia” said Dr. Bill Cance, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the American Cancer Society.

The addition of Biocon Biologics to the partnership, along with an expanded portfolio of biosimilars from Pfizer, will enable access to best-in-class therapies that are currently out of reach for patients in low- and middle-income countries. The agreements will now enable access to high quality trastuzumab, rituximab, and pegfilgrastim biosimilars in addition to previously available biosimilar filgrastim from Novartis.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon Biologics said, “We are pleased to collaborate with CHAI and ACS for their Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) for patients in Sub- Saharan Africa & Asia. Biocon Biologics is committed to expand access to affordable biologics in LMICs through strategic partnerships with global health organizations. Through CAP, our products will support the global efforts directed at expanding therapy options available to healthcare systems in several Asian and African countries for advancing the fight against cancer. This partnership further strengthens our resolve to address the unmet patient needs for high quality, affordable biosimilars for cancer, like bTrastuzumab and bPegfilgrastim.”

ACS and CHAI began partnering with governments and cancer treatment institutions across sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 to improve cancer treatment and care. Patients in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely to die from cancer as those in the United States, and the number of cases in the region continues to grow with an estimated 800,000 new cases and 500,000 deaths in 2020. Annual cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to almost double by 2030. Seventy percent of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

In June of 2020, CHAI and ACS announced the creation of the Cancer Access Partnership alongside Novartis, Viatris, and existing partner, Pfizer. Since that time, partners have made significant commitments to increase access to high-quality products, leading to direct sales of cancer medicines in eight countries with purchasers in additional countries engaged further. The expanding list of countries indicates continued willingness to serve ever greater populations. The partners are also committed to continually monitoring the impact of the partnership on patients.

Novartis is proud to reconfirm our commitment to cancer patients in helping to enable broader access to cancer care in sub-Saharan Africa. We are happy to see the partnership expand and welcome the new cancer allies, as we know it takes a joint effort to tackle this life-threatening disease. Together we have the ability to help reduce mortality, broaden access opportunities and positively impact the patient journey. I would like to take the opportunity to invite colleagues from the medical device space to join and help contribute to strengthening diagnosis and screening in SSA,” said Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis SSA.

“The battle against cancer can only be won when strong partnerships across and within countries address the challenges faced by people seeking care, their caregivers and the health systems that support them holistically,” said Michelle Akande, Vice President of Pfizer Global Health Partnerships. “We have been a proud partner to this effort spanning several years, working towards one of our common goals, which is helping patients gain access to the medicines they need to live longer and healthier lives. We are very excited to see this partnership grow and to now bring Pfizer biosimilars to the collaboration in order to offer an even broader range of treatment options to patients in need.”

The market access agreements are part of a broader effort to improve access to quality cancer care in Africa. In 2019, ACS, CHAI, the African Cancer Coalition, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and IBM joined to form Allied Against Cancer. This coalition is leveraging the strengths of each organization to connect with and empower the African oncology community to deliver high-quality cancer care and is working to pursue additional market-based collaborations to increase access to cancer medicines in the region.  A recently launched Treatment Access Fund invites the support of multiple companies and other funders to support Allied Against Cancer activities.

Countries covered by the new agreements include Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  Not all products are offered in every country.

For more information about the partnership, please visit:  


Media contacts 

  • American Cancer Society (ACS), Kathi Di Nicola,
  • Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Regan Lachapelle, Director of Communications, +1 857-208-2788,
  • Biocon  Seema Ahuja, Global Head of Communications & Corporate Brand, +91 99723 17792,  
  • Pfizer, Dervila Keane, Global Media Relations, Europe AfME, +353 86 2110834,
  • Novartis, Beatrice Gachenge, Head of Communications Novartis Sub-Saharan Africa,
  • ViatrisRitika Verma, Head of Communications – India and Emerging Markets, 

About the Team 

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. The Society also works in low- and middle-income countries to expand access to high-quality chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and pain relief, as well as getting patients diagnosed and into treatment earlier. For more information go to www.cancer.orgACS does not endorse any product or service nor any particular brand of cancer drugs. ACS is not a provider of medical services and is not responsible for any drugs, screening, diagnosis, or medical treatment. 

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries. We work with our partners to strengthen the capabilities of governments and the private sector to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. Learn more at:  

Biocon Biologics Limited, a subsidiary of Biocon Limited is uniquely positioned as a fully integrated ‘pure play’ biosimilars organization in the world. Building on the four pillars of Patients, People, Partners and Business, Biocon Biologics is committed to transforming healthcare and transforming lives. Biocon Biologics is leveraging cutting-edge science, innovative tech platforms and advanced research & development capabilities to lower treatment costs while improving healthcare outcomes. It has a platform of 28 biosimilar molecules across diabetes, oncology, immunology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, rheumatology and inflammatory diseases. Five molecules from Biocon Biologics’ portfolio have been taken from lab to market, of which three have been commercialized in developed markets like United States, EU, Australia, Canada and Japan. With a team of over 4800 people, Biocon Biologics aspires to transform healthcare through affordable innovative solutions as well as impact millions of patients’ lives.  Biocon Biologics on the Web; Website: Follow us on Twitter:  @BioconBiologics 

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at 

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at 

Viatris Inc. (NASDAQ: VTRS) is a new kind of healthcare company, empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life. We provide access to medicines, advance sustainable operations, develop innovative solutions and leverage our collective expertise to connect more people to more products and services through our one-of-a-kind Global Healthcare Gateway®. Formed in November 2020 through the combination of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn business, Viatris brings together scientific, manufacturing and distribution expertise with proven regulatory, medical and commercial capabilities to deliver high-quality medicines to patients in more than 165 countries and territories. Viatris’ portfolio comprises more than 1,400 approved molecules across a wide range of therapeutic areas, spanning both non-communicable and infectious diseases, including globally recognized brands, complex generic and branded medicines, a growing portfolio of biosimilars and a variety of over-the-counter consumer products. With a global workforce of approximately 45,000, Viatris is headquartered in the U.S., with global centers in Pittsburgh, Shanghai and Hyderabad, India. Learn more at and, and connect with us on Twitter at @ViatrisInc, LinkedIn and YouTube. 

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