MoHAP, Janssen & Axios expand the “Hand in Hand” initiative

By Salma C, Intern Reporter
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Hand in Hand MoHAP
Amin Hussein Al-Amiri, MoHAP; Ms. Jimmy Faris, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Mr. Anas Al-Safarini, Axios International are at the signing ceremony

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and the Dubai-based global healthcare consulting firm Axios, have jointly signed an appendix to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand the scope of the “Hand in Hand” initiative.

The “Hand in Hand” Initiative aims to provide affordable medicines to uninsured and low-income expat patients or those whose insurance is not covering the cost of treatment of diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, multiple myeloma, active ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis.

The MoU was first signed by the end of 2018, and about 712 eligible patients benefited from it. In April 2019, an extension of the program was signed to provide new medication to patients with the aforementioned conditions.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Amin Hussein Al-Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Health Regulation Sector, MoHAP, Ms. Jimmy Faris, Managing Director, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and Mr. Anas Al-Safarini, Axios International Senior Director, MENA.

The agreement which is part of the trio’s commitment to improving access to innovative drugs, was signed at the US Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai, in the presence of the US Consul General Ms. Meghan Gregonis and the accompanying delegation along with several officials from Janssen and Axios.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri remarked that “MoHAP is committed to providing the best medicines for all low-income expat patients in the country. In this context, we launched the “Hand in Hand” initiative in cooperation with Jansen and Axios International in 2018, and we are currently working on expanding the scope of this initiative to support and enhance patients’ access to innovative medicines.”

Dr. Al Amiri further added that “The initiative targets low-income expat patients whose insurance doesn’t cover the total cost of treatment to improve their adherence to the treatment plan prescribed by their attending physician. The initiative also covers eligible low-income non-Emirati patients who are uninsured, underinsured, and financially distressed patients.”

MOHAP representative also underscored the ministry’s commitment to cooperating with companies and institutions to improve the quality of life of patients, services, and treatments for various health conditions.

For her part, the US Consul General stated that “The ‘Hand in Hand’ MoU that we celebrate today is a perfect example of public-private partnership and shared commitment to patients and will help provide a better access to innovative medicines, something which would ensure a better life for so many patients and their family members.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Jimmy Faris said that “The MoU is part of our cooperation with MoHAP and Axios to develop low-income, non-Emirati patient support programs in the UAE. As part of this constructive cooperation, we facilitate access to our innovative and affordable medicines for low-income non-Emirati patients and the health system at large. We are committed to providing faster and more equitable access to medicines, which is part of our commitment to providing our medicines to patients at an affordable cost.”

“We work closely with patients and health care providers to support the efforts of the health system in the UAE. Such kind of cooperation is natural for us as we work all over the world to fight diseases with science while improving accessibility to innovative medicines,” Ms. Jimmy Faris added.

Expressing his appreciation for the initiative, Mr. Anas Al-Safarini commented that “The ‘Hand in Hand’ initiative supports patients and meets their aspirations when it comes to providing necessary and improved access to innovative drugs, reflecting our commitment at Axios to support the efforts of MoHAP and Janssen to provide medicines to patients.”

The Hand in Hand initiative also includes sharing the cost with patients or the supporting body according to their ability to bear the costs of the treatment.

Related: UAE signs MoU with Ireland’s Agricultural Dept to enhance food security