Teva is headline sponsor of this year’s NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo, and is hosting a discussion panel session on the main stage on the subject of multiple chronic conditions (MCC). Amalia Adler-Waxman, Teva’s Global Vice President for Social Impact and Responsibility, is the keynote speaker at the session, and we caught up with her ahead of Expo to find out more.
“We know that living with one or more chronic conditions affects a patient’s life in so many different ways and at Teva, we strive to improve the lives of our patients and go beyond our medicines to create a healthier world.
"Our focus on healthy communities means increasing access to medicines, developing specialty treatments, supporting patients through their health journeys and addressing global health issues.
"We believe that MCC is a great challenge to global healthcare. MCC has a profound impact on patients which can reduce quality of life and lead to the deterioration of one’s current health status. Costs and complications tend to grow exponentially, limiting mobility, increasing pain and fatigue and making it hard or impossible to work.”
Conversations around MCC
“In 2017, we talked to health leaders and patients and identified MCC as a pressing global health issue that is not well understood. When more than one chronic condition occurs at the same time, the picture gets more complicated. One in three adults worldwide has MCC1: cardiovascular disease alongside diabetes, depression as well as cancer, or a combination of three, four, or even five or six diseases at the same time. And as this population ages, this burden will grow.
“In 2017-2018, we partnered with and brought together thought leaders from health and patient organisations, governments and the healthcare and IT industries to discuss MCC. This is an area where I truly feel we are moving the conversation forward.
“And we’re keeping the momentum going. In May of this year, we gathered public health experts at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss tools and resources for patients with MCC. We hope to continue advancing understanding of this topic in 2019.”
Tackling the burden of MCC
“MCC is a severe burden to healthcare providers and organisations. When a patient has several conditions, treatments and visits to the doctor tend to mount up and these conditions require a large amount of medication to be kept in check. And it can get expensive. MCC is associated with more medications – as many as eight prescriptions for each additional chronic condition amongst older adults – and it is often 16 times costlier to treat a patient with four conditions than those with one2.
“Across the globe, healthcare providers and organisations face significant challenges, including smaller budgets, ageing populations, growing numbers of people with MCC and rising demand for healthcare. Yet this also coincides with an unprecedented era of innovation. It is essential that we continue to innovate and ensure that new technologies and treatments are made available in a sustainable way.
“Teva research indicates that two in three people are suffering from a chronic condition in the UK. The growing burden of MCC presents significant challenges for the NHS. More than 15 million people in England live with a long-term condition, and that number is on the rise. 70 per cent of the NHS budget is spent on the 30 per cent of people with one or more long-term condition, and over half of all GP appointments relate to long-term conditions3. Meanwhile, more people in deprived populations are living with MCC.
“Chronic patients are often highly engaged with their health – in the UK around 76% desire advice on how to better take control of their health.
“Teva is keen to develop healthcare partnerships to address the growing burden on the NHS. Delivering integrated care will have a huge impact on the continuity and quality of care received by those people with MCC.”
Supporting pharmacists to help patients
“Teva believes that pharmacies have an important role to play in helping patients to better manage their own conditions and we are developing initiatives to support pharmacies to do that.
“With GPs and A&Es facing overwhelming pressure, there is a huge opportunity that has yet to be realised, by utilising the 14,000 community pharmacists across the UK. For many people they are already the first port of call for healthcare conditions, and they can play a vital role in supporting both the prevention and medicines optimisation agendas. But, it is important to note that pharmacy needs to be properly funded to deliver this activity.
“The creation of integrated healthcare can really help to achieve this vision for pharmacies. We shouldn’t underestimate the value that can be achieved through greater co-ordination within primary care and providing proactive care in the community. This should become sustainable through better collaboration in the local health and social care system – something Teva wholeheartedly welcomes.
“We can support pharmacists to make it easier for patients to manage their own treatments. This includes understanding what prevents patients taking their pills in their day-to-day lives, making it easier for them to do so while minimising side-effects and complications. And we need to innovate how we monitor the progression and control of disease so patients can keep track of how they are doing by themselves.
“Managed effectively, these approaches could mean fewer tests and visits to the doctor and less frequent, shorter hospital stays. This means less costs. A patient would have to engage with fewer professionals, which would help millions of patients regain a sense of control and an improved quality of life. Their over-stretched caregivers would benefit too.
“As an additional support for patients, and a tool that pharmacists can use with patients, Teva has also created Life Effects, an online resource of information and stories for patients, by patients with MCC. It features useful insights, tips and technologies to make life a little easier and stories about the reality of living with MCC.
“Teva’s report Multiple Chronic Conditions: The Global State has identified a number of potential solutions to the challenge presented by MCC. These solutions include cross-condition management – coordinating treatment of different conditions across providers, as well as guidelines to help providers assess and treat patients with MCC; adapting dosage plans so patients have fewer pills to remember – and take – each day, and making care more accessible and personalised with technology-based solutions.
“We want to work with the NHS and healthcare partners around the world to deliver solutions like these.”
 Teva MCC Report - https://www.tevapharm.com/files/docs/Teva_MCC_Report.pdf
 Hajat, C & Stein, E. The global burden of multiple chronic conditions: a narrative review. Preventative Medicine Reports
 Kings Fund – Long term conditions and multi-morbidity. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/time-think-differently/trends-disease-and-disability-long-term-conditions-multi-morbidity. Last accessed: August 2019