BIOCON Biologics India Ltd., a fully integrated "pure play" biosimilars company headquartered in Bangalore, India and a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd., has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the governments of two municipalities in the Philippines and a social enterprise reach52 to enable affordable access to quality insulins in the country.

Biocon has nearly two decades of experience in providing insulins and analogs to people with diabetes across the world. Its insulin glargine is commercialized in developed markets of US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. This is a part of Biocon Biologics’ commitment to unlock universal access to quality insulins through the "Mission 10 cents" program by making recombinant human insulin (rh-insulin) available for less than 10 US cents per day in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The project, which will commence in the municipalities of Pototan and Cuartero in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz, respectively, will aim to develop a scalable framework to strengthen access to timely, affordable and quality diabetes care at the municipal level in the Philippines to ensure better patient outcomes and reduced cost of care.

Through "Mission 10 Cents," Biocon Biologics aims to implement a continuum of care model encompassing a diabetes patient’s journey from awareness to early diagnosis and treatment. This patient-centric model seeks to decentralize diabetes care via task shifting programs to bring prevention and care closer to where people live. It envisages insulinization of patients with regular blood glucose monitoring through an end-to-end information system connecting the patient and clinician for effective disease management. The aim is to go beyond the product to help transform the patient ecosystem and touch the lives of millions of people with diabetes in the Philippines.

Dr. Christiane Hamacher, CEO of Biocon Biologics, said: “As a committed global insulins player, Biocon Biologics seeks to shift the access paradigm for patients in need of quality insulins across the globe through its 'Mission 10 cents' program. We are pleased to partner with the Philippines government for a long-term, integrated diabetes management program enabling affordable access for patients. This initiative is a part of our larger commitment to support low and middle-income countries build a sustainable healthcare ecosystem that enables equitable access to insulins. We are aware of the challenges associated with the affordability of insulin therapy even after 100 years of its discovery and are collaborating with like-minded partners to ensure pricing does not impede access for patients who need this life-saving therapy. We aspire to co-create with our partners a patient ecosystem that goes beyond the product to transform the lives of millions of diabetes patients globally.”

Dr. Alexander Zach, global head of Market Access & Policy-Biocon Biologics, said: “Biocon Biologics is extremely proud to collaborate with the Municipalities of Pototan and Cuartero, Philippines, along with our social enterprise partner reach52to realize our common vision of expanding universal access to quality diabetes care and promoting overall patient well-being. Mission 10 cents is not only about offering Biocon’s rh-insulin at a lower price but it is a partnership with diverse stakeholders that goes beyond the product to transform the patient ecosystem and contribute to achieving better health outcomes and reduce cost of care for millions of people living with diabetes in the Philippines.”

Rafael Enrique P. Lazaro, mayor of Pototan, said: “We are excited to work with both reach52 and Biocon Biologics on this program. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the Philippines, affecting everyone from all walks of life. It is my honor and pleasure to facilitate this partnership on behalf of my constituents that will make healthcare accessible to lower-income residents, and look forward to seeing the results of this program deliver better healthcare for our municipality. It is my firm belief that a strong symbiotic partnership amongst government offices, non-profit organizations and private corporations is essential to combat whatever obstacles we may face in the future.”

For his part, Tito L. Mayo, mayor of Cuartero, said: “Cuartero is a fourth-class municipality, with many of our residents living in upland barangays, far from the rural health unit. Diabetes is still a challenge for them too, and we need innovative partnerships like this one with reach52 and Biocon Biologics to serve everyone in Cuartero with essential health services.”

Edward Booty, CEO of reach52,s aid: “We have worked with the governments for this program for over three years now. I have always been inspired by their leadership and drive to serve their communities better and think of new ways to work with private sector and other organizations to do so. With diabetes being one of the most worrying and growing global diseases, our role at reach52 is to find partnerships to help create health for all. I am confident that Biocon Biologics will deliver on that promise and bring affordable insulin and resources to help strengthen local health systems.” (PR)