Accenture donates 2.5m to African non-profit care foundation

14 September 2012 Consultancy.uk

Accenture has over the past years donated more than €2.5 million to the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), a nonprofit organization that aims at improving health care in Africa. The donation consists of €1.5 million in cash and €1 million in consulting and BPO services.

AMREF is the leading health development organization in Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. It focuses on six fields, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, basic sanitation, family health and health care-related training. In 2005, AMREF won the prestigious Bill Gates Award for Global Health due to its lasting contribution to the field of health in Africa.

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E-learning Program

As part of the €1 million in consulting and BPO services, Accenture offered 14,500 hours of time from consultants in Accenture’s Learning BPO Services. The consultants developed so far 143 hours of e-learning content for AMREF, aimed at educating more than 20,000 nurses based in Kenya. In addition, the funding from the Accenture grant was used for program management, staffing of the project and building the necessary the IT-infrastructure such as PCs and IT network.

Self sufficiency

One of the primary goals of Accenture’s support is that the AMREF can become self-sufficient. The project was designed to gradually transfer skills and knowledge from Accenture, giving AMREF an increasing ability to manage the elements of the program. By educating AMREF to manage and expand the project on its own, the non-profit organization will not be as dependent on outside help after Accenture gradually builds down its support. 

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Medicine economic model creates negative health outcomes

26 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

Profit-driven production of antibiotics has held back the development of vital medical breakthroughs, according to a new report. Analysis from a leading strategy consultancy suggests that a change in economic model and new incentives could prompt pharmaceutical giants to develop cures to major diseases, which could be affordable at scale.

The much maligned pharmaceutical industry has long been criticised for its failure to focus on deep seated issues in public health. For instance, there is increasing concern around microbial resistance, with some bacteria now resistant to all known antibiotics. Combating that requires new antibiotics – but drug companies see little profit in the field, and therefore have not seriously invested in it. Another instance of concern is a focus on treating symptoms rather than curing the diseases themselves, with such treatments requiring long-term payment to mitigate symptoms, rather than one-time cures being delivered.

Cases like the so-called “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli – who received widespread criticism when his company obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and raised its price by a factor of 56 (from US$13.5 to $750 per pill – underline the failing of this system to meet the needs of society. New analysis from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) seeks to challenge the current economic model and its inherent failures in favour of a model that creates greater social good while also generating steady reliable returns for pharma companies. The analysis appears in the firm’s ‘Aligning Economic Incentives to Eradicate Diseases’ report.

Different pricing model makes cures more accessible

One example is Hepatitis C. The disease is massively damaging to human life, with considerable negative impacts on patients and society. Treatments have existed for decades, which manage the virus but did not cure it. These treatments had significant side effects however, which saw people not complete rounds – which then resulted in expensive emergency care and secondary health costs.

In 2013 a treatment was developed that effectively cured the virus in 8-12 weeks. The treatment has few side effects and works in most patients. However, five years later fewer than 10% of people globally with the virus have had the cure – largely because of prohibitive costs. The ambition to remove this disease and its large negative drag on the lives of millions by 2030 is becoming increasingly unlikely. The issue is cost.

The current economic model used by pharmaceutical companies mean that early adopters pay sky high prices as the company seeks to recoup costs, with the price eventually coming down to levels at which a larger segment can afford to access the drug – before its generic releases sees mass uptake. This model creates considerable initial barriers, and long-term social costs.

The report subsequently proposes a different pricing model that would see the price of a new drug kept at a constant level for its lifetime but have that level set considerably lower than the current model - which is focused on recouping costs immediately. Under the firm’s model, within 12 years of the Hepatitis C drug’s discovery, up to 96% of the population could be cured, at a cost 30% lower than the UN model and with a cure rate almost 50 percentage points higher than the base model.

The PLA scenario has better social outcomes than the traditional model

A change in model would, according to the firm’s analysis for HCP, triple the number of patients cured within 2 years, reduce the number of liver disease deaths by 60%, reduce total costs to payers by 30% (due to fewer additional costs on healthcare systems), while creating higher and more predictable revenue streams for pharma companies.

“There are many barriers to curing this population, but the dilemma created by current pricing models is one of the biggest,” said Dave Matthews, a BCG Principal and study co-author. The firm adds, “The dilemma results because a high price per patient makes treating everyone prohibitively expensive while an affordable price is too low for pharmaceutical companies to earn back their investments.”

Matthews concluded, “Switching to a population-based model such as the PLA not only makes the cure affordable, but also creates strong motivation to identify, diagnose, and treat as many patients as possible before the license expires.”

Related: Ten year deal activity in pharmaceuticals industry stands at $2.4 trillion.