Everyone is familiar with the axiom “Health is wealth,” and compared to the past, the urgency to sustain healthy lives has never been more true. However, good health and wellness is not always accessible for those who need it. With rising costs, life threatening illnesses such as cancer tend to completely overpower families especially those in indigent communities and low-income households.

Through a tri-party partnership between the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Axios International and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), the Takeda Patient Assistance Program (TPAP), managed by Axios, helps Filipino families overcome barriers in receiving financial assistance and enables cancer treatment and recovery.

The Takeda Patient Assistance Program provides assistance to stomach and pancreatic cancer patients with limited financial resources to help them receive the medication and treatment they need. TPAP works with hospitals to identify, assess, and manage the Program, ensuring medicine and treatment are received without unnecessary delays.

Alyssa Ibarra’s experience is testament of how TPAP helps patients fight the disease and find light at a dark time.

“Not all Filipinos are privileged enough to cover their hospital bills. This program could help spark hope to the people who cannot afford their hospital bills,” Alyssa says.

Alyssa was first diagnosed with stage IIA Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2018 and underwent chemotherapy. She hoped that the treatment would leave her disease-free and help to close that chapter of her life. However, in 2019, the cancer returned, prompting her to undergo immunotherapy. 

After shouldering the staggering costs of her chemotherapy sessions in 2018, the bills from her immunotherapy sessions scared her. She realized it would pile up, adding to bills from her previous treatment which had taken a severe toll on her family’s finances.

“We were just recovering from our expenses during the time I had to undergo chemotherapy and beginning another medical procedure would mean that my family had to exhaust even more funds and we knew we could not do that anymore.”

Luckily, Alyssa was eligible to apply and was introduced to the Program by her hospital. Through the Axios administered Takeda Patient Assistance Program, the remainder of her treatment was provided to her free-of-charge. TPAP also helped her get through other areas of her treatment, contributing to her overall wellness and recovery and a new chance at life.

“The program helped me and my family in ways I cannot imagine. When I was sick, we were already struggling, especially in dealing with the financial requirements. The program has given us not just financial assistance, but also hope, because this time I will be able to now heal due to the medical procedures.”

The Program helped ease Alyssa’s and her family’s worries on the financial impact of her disease, allowing her to focus on getting better. Looking back, she dreaded the “what if’s” had she not been part of TPAP.

“The Takeda Patient Assistance Program was important to my family and I, because without it, I would not have started my therapy and I could have undergone a different treatment, which according to my doctors could have been much more painful and expensive.”

The Takeda Patient Assistance Program is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, addressing issues that prevent people from experiencing the wellness everybody deserves. Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) works with the Takeda Patient Assistance Program to help provide hope to Filipino cancer patients for a beautiful and fulfilling life.

As of September 2022, Takeda Patient Assistance Program has assisted a total of 580 individuals; 396 through the Patient Assistance Program for Adcetris and 184 for Entyvio.

“The program, for me, is one of the most significant reasons that I am still here today and thriving. I am truly grateful that I was given a chance to be part of this program.”

When finances form a hurdle to achieving good health, private companies can work together and help Filipinos who need it the most. Everybody should have a lifeline to affordable and accessible recovery, and through programs such as TPAP, PSFI ensures that wellness is within everyone’s reach.

For decades, PSFI has been helping Filipinos get through challenging times of their lives and even today continues to be a beacon of positive change to the lives they touch. After all, access to good health means hope for a better future. “The best part of the program was that it gives that hope to everyone that there is a chance to undergo the medical procedures. meant for a certain patient. Knowing that you can actually get well without exhausting all of your funds or going crazy on trying to figure out what to do gives me a breath of fresh air.”

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