Changing The Paradigm – Cipla’s Dollar-A-Day HIV/AIDS Story

Enabling access to medicines has been Cipla’s commitment since its inception. Cipla’s story on HIV and AIDS is about access to quality affordable medicine as a universal right.

When the first cases of AIDS in India began to surface, being diagnosed with AIDS was considered a death sentence. In the year 1993, Cipla took up the challenge and pioneered the manufacture of Zidovudine (AZT) – the first known AIDS drug, from basic stages in collaboration with scientists of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad.

At the turn of the century, Cipla revolutionsed the management and treatment of AIDS with the launch of Triomune – the world’s first three-in-one antiretroviral (ARV) drug with Stavudine, Lamivudine and Nevirapine.

In the year 2000, a unique opportunity arose when Dr Y.K. Hamied was invited to speak at the European Commission in Brussels, where health ministers of several countries, members of organisations like the UNICEF, UNAIDS and WHO, and the heads of several multinational pharmaceutical companies would be present. On that day Dr Y.K. Hamied delivered a historic speech where he offered Cipla’s unique drug cocktail Triomune to the international community at US$ 800 per patient per year.

At that time the prevailing price for a cocktail of three HIV drugs was upwards of $12,000 per patient per year, completely out of reach of the people who needed it the most. Even in such a scenario, Dr Hamied’s offer was met with stony indifference.

“Cipla’s offer to sell a triple-combination of “antiretroviral” AIDS drugs to the international aid group Doctors Without Borders at less than $1 a day per patient is transforming the debate over how to provide critical medicines to poor nations.”

— Daniel Pearl & Alix Freedman, ‘Altruism, Local Politics and The Bottom Line Intersect At Indian Generics Firm’, The Wall Street Journal (12 March 2001)

On 6th February 2001, Cipla made the paradigm changing move that opened the floodgates for accessibility and affordability by offering the triple ARV cocktail drug to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for $350 per patient per year. At a little less than a dollar a day, this offer made the world take notice of Cipla as this move made it to the headlines of newspapers the very next day.

With this, the barrier to making HIV drugs available at affordable prices was broken. Access to medicines at affordable prices became a much-talked-about point of debate.

“Entire counties have shifted the focus of their public-health systems – simply because AIDS treatment suddenly seems affordable.”
– Michael Specter, ‘India’s plague’, The New Yorker (17 December 2001)

Today due to the affordability and widespread availability of AIDS drugs, more and more people are living longer and healthier lives.

Quoting Dr Y.K. Hamied, “Cipla is proud to have played a vital role in the war against HIV/AIDS, the greatest public health challenge in history. Our work has paved way for the drop in generic prices in many other therapies across the world. It has taken us further in our mission to enable universal access to medicine. So much has been done, but there is so much more left for all of us to do.”

Like it did for HIV/AIDS in 2001, Cipla has yet again answered the call to make life-saving cancer drugs accessible and affordable to those most in need in Africa.

– Donald G. McNeil Jr., ‘As cancer tears through Africa, drug makers draw up a battle plan’, The New York Times (07 October 2017 span>

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

International Childhood Cancer Day: Cipla Foundation Fulfills Wishes Of Over 120 Paediatric Cancer Patients

International Childhood Cancer Day is commemorated in the world over on 15th Feb 2017 to raise awareness about childhood cancer and support children with cancer. Cipla Foundation partnered with Make A Wish Foundation to fulfil the wishes of over 120 paediatric patients suffering from serious illness at three different locations:  Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.

In Mumbai, a wish fulfilment drive was held at the Victoria Memorial School for the Blind. Dr YK Hamied and Rumana Hamied and volunteers from Cipla’s India Business team attended the drive. The Foundation fulfilled the wishes of over 50 children. Fun activities such as a drawing session, dance performance by a 9-year-old cancer survivor and Malkhamb were organised for the children.

In Bengaluru, over 60 children in the age group of 3 to 14 years were granted their wishes. Around 25 Ciplaites from API Manufacturing, Quality and Sales team volunteered for the cause at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru.

The Pune wish fulfilment drive was held at Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre, Pune, and fulfilled wishes of 10 paediatric cancer patients. Dr Manjiri Dighe, the Centre’s Medical Director and Dr Vibha Bafna, Oncologist – Bharti Hospital, Pune, together with Cipla Foundation, handed over gifts such as bicycles, video games and dolls to the children. Members from Cipla’s India Business team and Pune Sales team also volunteered for the cause. The children and their families enjoyed the lunch and a fun magic show.

 

Impressed with the high standards at the Centre, Dr Bafna said in her speech, “A wonderful place, done up aesthetically, quiet and peaceful. Almost heaven-like for patients with huge problems. A great additional help to the city of Pune and to all clinicians like us. Thanks for inviting me.”

Our volunteer squad:

A big shout out to all our volunteers for coming together and making the day special and memorable for the children and their families.

Mumbai:- Jortin George, Dharmender Singh, Abhijit Nazare, Dr Omkar Bole, Sachin Khode, Deepak Mansukhani

Bengaluru: Channabasavaiah, Abhilash Jacob, Manish, Hariprasadh T, Ramkundleswar, Chiranjeevi,

Prabhakar, Daniel Boppuri, Jumat Kumar, Shylaja Krishnamurthy, C K Kulkarni, Lokesh

Kanchan Kitthur, Parameshwarappa, Pradeep T S, Suresh Amin, Nayana T D, P L Srinivas, Sandhya H M,

Rambabu, Veeresh, Mala, Vishwajeet, K Hemanth Kumar, Lalit Singh, Sujit Kumar

Pune: Kalpesh Dagwar, Maqsood Khan, Chanchalkumar G Gilda

Testimonials

Here’s what few of our volunteers had to say about the wish-fulfilment drive:

  • I was deeply touched by the cause and the huge vacuum that we have to fill. I will be glad to be associated with such initiatives and am honoured to be a volunteer.
  • The happiness and smiles the kids had on their faces brought tears to my eyes. It was a delight to volunteer at the Wish Fulfilment event. This was my first volunteering experience and I will cherish it for a lifetime. Hope to be part of such programs soon.
  • We could see smiles for those little moments among the children and their parents. We could understand the pain they were going through and we should do more such events to lend our hand in their hour of crisis. I was happy to bring hope and confidence to their lives in whichever small way possible.  Thank you for enabling us to be a part of this volunteering activity.

For more such blogs follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.

Cipla Brings Together A Dream Run Team For Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018

At Cipla, our purpose is ‘Caring For Life’ and Cipla Foundation takes this commitment beyond medicines to touch lives in the community. Cipla marathoners support the foundation’s cause every year at the Mumbai Marathon. In 2017, they officially carried our message at the Mumbai Marathon for the first time.

Here’s a glimpse of our debut at the Mumbai Marathon last year.

Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018

This year, Cipla has brought together a Dream Run team which will carry Cipla Foundation’s message of caring for life to the community.

Here’s Samina Vaziralli, Executive Vice Chairman, Cipla, on what it means for Cipla Foundation to be associated with Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018.

Rumana Hamied, CEO, Cipla Foundation, on what it means for Cipla Foundation to be associated with Tata Mumbai Marathon, 2018.

Here’s what few participants have to say about running for Cipla Foundation.

Here’s some action straight from the marathon.

 

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Say YES To Boost Your Child’s Immunity

Every parent’s worst nightmare is a sick child at home. It is estimated that an urban kid in India falls sick every month on average, leading to an enormous emotional and physical toll on both the child and the parent, not to mention days off from school and work for both.

There is a huge unmet need for immunity-building pharmaceuticals for children in India. Many of the products in the market claim to help children grow taller, or put on weight, etc., but very few of them aim to help build immunity. Children in India are prone to anaemia and vitamin deficiencies due to several reasons like improper diet, lack of exercise, etc. As a result, children fall ill more often due to low immunity and this has a lasting impact in the growth and development of the child.

Illness to wellness

In line with our credo of #CaringForLife,’ we, at Cipla, have always aspired to find ways to meaningfully improve consumer lives. Our team, therefore, undertook the challenge to create a product that could build strength from within and help children move away from illness to wellness.

Our biggest challenge was to create a wellness product in a format that kids will look forward to consuming, without compromising on the ingredients and the efficacy. The challenge of appeasing both the children and the adults was a daunting one. We met with hundreds of paediatricians and mothers; the doctors gave us ideas about the gap the product needed to fill, and the mothers gave us insights into the format the product should take.

We developed a unique product – Immunoboosters that tackled this particular problem of low immunity in children. It had the goodness of immune-boosting ingredients and it looked and tasted like a piece of chocolate. Immunoboosters gives up to 100% RDA (required dietary allowance) of key immunity nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin C, and iron.

Launched about a year ago, the innovative chocolate bites format was an immediate hit with children and parents alike. Moms were happy with Immunoboosters as it came with the quality assurance from the House of Cipla and children loved it enough to ask for it, which made it infinitely easier on the parent. It does not have to be administered like medicine; children can consume Immunoboosters by themselves. Even paediatricians endorse it, saying it will help build immunity in the child. We have been hearing a lot of compliments from mothers and paediatricians alike and we genuinely feel we are improving the lives of our consumers.

#YesMom: Changing perceptions

A child grows up hearing ‘No’ more often that yes – no going out if it’s raining, no eating street food, no eating cold food, etc. That’s because Indian mothers are known for saying ‘No’ to anything that might even have a slightly adverse impact on their child’s health. The #YesMom campaign by #CiplaHealth aims to change this perception. With the #YesMom campaign, we want to reassure the mother that her kid is not going to fall sick. The #YesMom campaign focusses on creating confidence in the mother that her child is inherently strong from within and can withstand the rigours of everyday life. Children with higher immunity levels fall sick less often and are thus able to lead fuller and happier lives. A #YesMom can raise healthier and happier kids; such children are enthusiastic, optimistic and more importantly have a positive outlook in life.

Read more about the #YesMom movement here.

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Mifitness: A Comprehensive And Holistic Mind & Body Wellness Program

We are committed to the well-being of our associates, both at the workplace and at home. Our comprehensive wellness philosophy iCare: My Wellbeing-My Responsibility,  includes initiatives around physical, mental and financial wellness. Whilst Cipla continues to provide multiple avenues and platforms for holistic well-being, we urge our associates to take the first step towards investing in self.

Under the aegis of our wellness philosophy, iCare, we launched ‘Mi-Fitness’, a holistic mind and body wellness program. We are partnering with “Breathe Well-Being” a comprehensive well-being solutions provider in this journey.

Mi-Fitness through a variety of online and offline activities aims to build a fitter, healthier and therefore a happier Cipla.

 

Our associates can use the Breathe Well-being mobile app to attend in-office workshops, track physical activity, work towards health goals, get guidance from health experts on the app and in the office, and get an assessment on their progress – all while pursuing healthy competition with peers. Associates can learn and teach more about a healthy lifestyle through the ever-buzzing social feed.

The activities and offerings under the program:

  • In-office workshops to achieve wellness goals at work
  • Best gym memberships in a nearby area
  • Nutritional Counselling to improve diet habits
  • Guided Meditation audio tracks for a mindful and stress-free life
  • Step Up Competition to get employees moving
  • Team Selfie Challenge to promote fun at work
  • Online social feed to share health journey
  • Health and Wellness Quiz to test knowledge
  • Breathe Age to assess current health levels

 

Here’s a glimpse of our in-office sessions:

‘Caring for Life’ is our purpose and it is what we live by. iCare @ Cipla, extends wellbeing solutions to more than 24000 associates around mental health (Work-Life Assistance Program), Financial health (Winvestor and other programs) and Mind & Body wellbeing through MiFitness.

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.