More Than Medicine
"A person can’t avoid fate, but they can control the way they respond to it."
For Mina, a cancer patient living in Kathmandu, traveling the 200 kilometers (125 miles) to her hospital was very difficult. Landslides in the area made the journey especially long, and many roads unpassable. As a result, Mina could not make it to see her doctor and was not able to take her medication for 2 months.
Mina’s absence was flagged by The Max Foundation’s (Max) custom software, PATS, and brought to the attention of one of Max’s dedicated patient champions, Sweta Agrawal, in Nepal. Sweta reached out to Mina to understand why she had not been able to make her medical appointment and pick up her medication. Sweta worked to have Mina’s case transferred to another hospital close to her home, Patan Hospital, where Max had a physician who could treat her.
Max has a global team who, like Sweta, work relentlessly to understand the challenges facing our patients. Our years of experience in low- and middle-income countries have taught us that simply making a drug available does not ensure that patients can access it. Our Max team knows that ensuring our patients can access treatment takes commitment and understanding as we would soon find out with Mina.
While at Patan Hospital, Mina was devastated again when she learned her platelet count was very high and her medicine wasn’t working. Luckily, The Max Foundation had other lines of medication in their portfolio to treat Mina’s disease. Her platelet count became normal again. In cancer care, situations like Mina’s are not unique. A patient must often move from one treatment to another. By understanding the disease and the patient journey, Max has built programs to treat patients for life. This patient-centered focus has made the chance of survival for patients with Mina’s form of cancer the same as if she lived in a high-income country. When we think of equity, we think of patients like Mina.
Today, Mina has been on medication free of charge for more than 12 years. She used to cry at the thought of not seeing her baby boy grow up. Her son is now 14 years old and she is thankful to The Max Foundation and their partners for providing her the chance to see him go to school every day.