Messages from Novartis

03 November, 2023

With the spin-off of Sandoz globally in October, we enter a new era as Novartis. With our new strategy unveiled in 2022, Novartis has now transformed into a focused innovative medicines business, Fran Milnes, president of Novartis Taiwan shares her view toward the New Novartis with Euroview.


Milnes states that with the new strategy unveiled in 2022, Novartis has concentrated on four core therapeutic areas: Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic (CRM), Immunology, Neuroscience, and Oncology. Multiple significant in-market and pipeline assets in each of these areas offer the opportunity to address high disease burden, and the potential for substantial growth.


In our commitment to cardiovascular disease (CV), Novartis is looking to bend the curve of life by addressing the preventable deaths that make heart disease the second highest cause of death in Taiwan. The UNBLOCKED MOVEMENT is a co-created initiative by partners and Novartis to bring patients, their loved ones, healthcare professionals and healthcare systems together in a shared mission to “unblock” barriers to heart health. In September Novartis Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMA) region created a challenge including two initiatives: encouraging Novartis associates to get their cholesterol checked, and to raise awareness of heart health with our stakeholders.


Before World Heart Day on 29 September, over 300 Novartis Taiwan associates from Taipei, Taichung, Nan-Tou and Kao-Hsiung joined the Unblocked Challenge walk. “Awareness starts with us, and this year we achieved 100% awareness of our cholesterol levels amongst employees. We are all playing a role to reinforce the Novartis commitment to CVD by driving conversations around heart health, so my message to anyone reading this article is get your cholesterol checked, it is one of the first steps to minimizing the risk of developing heart problems in the future” says Milnes.

Heart disease is the number-two cause of death in Taiwan and annually accounts for 10% of National Health Insurance expenditures. Considering indirect costs from disability and loss of productivity, the burden of heart disease on society, now estimated at NT$170 billion per year, is continuing to mount. “We need aggressive action to tackle this problem at a population rather than individual level, otherwise CVD threatens to significantly impact Taiwan’s public health and economy,” says Milnes.


Milnes further points out part of our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives includes building trust with society.

To respond to local society needs, Novartis Taiwan has collaborated with the United Way to donate to help social welfare organizations in need since 2020. This year the fundraising focused on underprivileged children and the “Novartis Charity Fundraising” program has accumulated over NT$30 million in long-term donations to social welfare organizations. “The work done to care for children in need and those with disabilities to their physical and or mental health by these social welfare associations aligns completely with our company purpose” she says.

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