Bristol Myers Squibb outlines 10-year strategy to reach patients in low- and middle-income countries

Bristol Myers Squibb said Wednesday that it is creating a 10-year plan — ASPIRE, or Accessibility, Sustainability, Patient-centric, Impact, Responsibility and Equity — to expand access to its therapies to more than 200,000 patients in low- and middle-income countries by 2033.

The ASPIRE plan will include strategies and the development of access plans to increase affordability and availability of BMS’ medicines in LMICs to ensure 100% of the company’s marketed products are supported by access plans.

“Access to potentially life-saving innovative medicines is very limited in some parts of the world, leaving patients with few treatment options for serious diseases like cancer,” Christopher Boerner, BMS’ board chair and CEO, said. “Bristol Myers Squibb believes patients who can benefit from our medicines should have access to them. Our ASPIRE strategy is an important step toward accelerating and expanding patient access to these much-needed treatments.”

BMS has introduced local brands of their drugs, with the company filing 11 local brands in 2023; five have received regulatory approvals.

“BMS local brands are making an impact in countries (such as) Thailand, which has the highest prevalence of beta thalassemia, by providing treatment options (such as) Rojusna to help combat this widespread disease,” the company stated in a news release.

Part of the ASPIRE plan is for BMS to collaborate with the Access to Oncology Medicines, or ATOM, Coalition to bring its cancer treatment, Opdivo (nivolumab), to Pakistan, Rwanda, Zambia and other countries. ATOM is led by the Union for International Cancer Control and includes 40 global partners to address the challenges of availability, affordability and appropriate use of oncology medicines.

In countries where BMS does not have a commercial presence, the company is making its medicines available through the Direct Import and the Direct-to-Institution pathways. BMS is providing 12 medicines using a tiered pricing commensurate to more than 80 LIMCs through the Direct Import pathway. The DTI pathway, which provides safe, broad and timelier access to BMS medicines through collaboration with local institutions, includes efforts in five LMICs in East Africa and Pakistan and West Africa in 2025. The goal is to include more than 15 LMICs by 2026.