Novartis, Punjab join hands for noble cause

NOVARTIS, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, signed an agreement with the Punjab government on Friday under which it will provide medicines to the patients of dangerous diseases such as cardiovascular and cancer at mere one dollar. Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the cost of one dollar will be borne by the provincial government while the pharma company has allocated Rs 550 million for the provision of otherwise very costly medicines at such a highly subsidized rate.
Though the news did not attract much media attention but while it has been the hallmark of this paper to recognize and acknowledge any worthwhile effort especially that brings improvement in the lot of common and poor man, therefore, we find it appropriate to write this piece to appreciate especially the pharma company for standing up for the noble cause. We understand that quite recently, Novartis also entered into a separate agreement with the Punjab Health Department to provide healthcare to the cancer patients under which the provincial government will provide Rs 4.40 billion while the share of Novartis Pharma will be Rs 39.6 billion. A total of 9,000 cancer patients will benefit from this programme. Choosing Punjab for agreements of such sorts also shows the confidence that the Pharma Company has in the provincial government and its policies towards improving the facilities in the province. Whilst we are confident that the provincial government will remain steadfast in its pursuit to provide best quality free of cost healthcare facilities to the poor, we expect that other Pharma companies, either domestic or international, will also follow the footprints of Novartis and come forward for the help of poor ailing people in whatever way they can. In fact when both the government and different segments of the society join hands with a sense of purpose, the society starts witnessing improvement, be it in the social sector or others.

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