Novartis CEO Says Covid-Related Doctor Visit Delays Likely to Impact Cancer Diagnosis Rates – .

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Novartis CEO Says Covid-Related Doctor Visit Delays Likely to Impact Cancer Diagnosis Rates – .


The healthcare system is still recording lower diagnostic rates for certain conditions after the coronavirus pandemic took non-Covid patients away from hospital early on, Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan told CNBC on Wednesday.
“I think the signals that were sent that ultimately asked patients to stay away from emergencies, to stay away from hospitals, sent a very powerful message to patients not to receive the care they are receiving. needed, ”Narasimhan said on“ Closing Bell ”. “It might have been appropriate given the public health emergency, but over time it creates a significant need for better treatment for these patients. “

Narasimhan, who joined Novartis in 2005, said that while the trends are positive, diagnostic rates remain lower in areas such as cardiovascular disease and oncology. For the latter, he said diagnoses are still 30-40% lower than pre-Covid-19 levels. Novartis manufactures cancer treatments.

Nearly one in three Americans aged 50 to 80 delayed an in-person medical visit last year due to concerns about Covid exposure, according to Institute-based National Poll on Healthy Aging survey for Healthcare Policy from the University of Michigan. and Innovation. The poll, conducted in January, found that 24% of people with cancer and 30% of people with heart disease had delayed at least one in-person visit.

“Cancer patients diagnosed later tend to have poorer outcomes, as do patients with cardiovascular disease who don’t get the therapies they need,” Narasimhan said. “This in turn creates more burden on health systems over time. “

As Covid cases increase in the United States and around the world due to the highly transmissible delta variant, Narasimhan is hoping that the lessons of the early stages of the health crisis have been learned. “I think it’s critical now, this time around we are ensuring that patients can maintain their care even as the pandemic comes and goes over the next few months,” he said.
“We remain optimistic that even as we go through various waves of Covid, health systems have learned that we need to maintain care for noncommunicable diseases, other chronic diseases,” he added. a syndemic, so to speak, of these other diseases. “

Novartis beat analysts’ expectations for second quarter revenue and earnings on Wednesday. Narasimhan said the Swiss drug maker has seen a resurgence in demand in many therapeutic areas, and noted that the company saw 9% growth in sales and 13% growth in profit from operation.

Novartis is currently involved in the manufacture of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines and also assists CureVac in the manufacture of vaccines. Novartis also produces monoclonal antibodies to treat Covid for partner companies, ”said Narasimhan. “We are doing a lot, but we are also ready to do more if necessary. “

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