Novartis Malaysia Launches Unblocked APMA Challenge to Raise Awareness on Heart Health


As part of a regional Unblocked movement (Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa), Novartis Malaysia has embarked on a month-long campaign titled Unblocked APMA Challenge for associates and HCPs with an ambition to highlight the importance of knowing your low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (known as bad cholesterol) to minimize the risk of developing heart diseases in the future.

This month saw over 220 associates on-site coming together to participate in an interactive yet educational heart-healthy event with activities comprising:

  • Sponsored cholesterol tests (a full lipid profile that reveals LDL-c level)
  • An interactive ‘lunch and learn’ session debunking myths regarding heart diseases and cholesterol with a cardiologist.
  • Private consultations with doctors for personalized insights on cholesterol test results
  • Photobooth activity as a reminder to stay heart-healthy
  • Pledge to stay heart healthy through the month of September by practicing heart healthy diet and lifestyle.

Over 30 field based associates were also provided with cholesterol tests and many dialed in to participate in the lunch and learn segments. These sponsored tests are part of a larger well-being program at Novartis Malaysia that seeks to maintain its associates’ physical, emotional, and mental health. It is led by the organization’s Wellbeing Team, comprising passionate volunteers across various functions.

On HCP level, Novartis Malaysia is spearheading a #CareUnblocked nationwide tour covering over 10 hospitals and visiting around 50 of the nation’s cardiologists to increase awareness to treat LDL-C levels to target based off recommendations made in the newly launched Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) Management of Dyslipidaemia 2023 (6th Edition). This aligned with the Unblocked movement’s ambitions to help HCPs provide more timely and effective medical care for their patients.

Mohamed Elwakil, Country President of Novartis Malaysia, said,

“A public perception survey titled, The State of Health of the Nation, an initiative by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and Novartis Malaysia shared some key points on how Malaysians perceived their health versus their health screening results that indicated otherwise.”

“The alarming prevalence of CVD-related illnesses and fatalities not only affects patients and their families but also inflicts an unsustainable economic burden on the nation. Treatment costs have reached a staggering sum of nearly RM3.9 billion annually, accounting for more than 40% of the total direct healthcare cost of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The impact extends beyond medical expenses, causing an estimated annual productivity loss of approximately RM4 billion.”

“With 30 years of leading science in CVD, we are committed and well positioned as a partner of choice to tackle this preventable burden. We believe that this is the time to work together to transform the standard of care for twice as many patients, twice as fast, and lead a generational decline in CVD-related deaths.”

Above the Unblocked Movement
The Unblocked movement is an initiative co-created with partners and supported by Novartis to bring patients, their loved ones, healthcare professionals and healthcare systems together in a shared mission to “unblock” barriers to heart health. The goal is to drive a movement through building sustainable partnerships across the healthcare ecosystem to raise awareness and spur behavioral changes toward achieving better heart health. By working with patients, healthcare professionals (HCPs), healthcare systems, and policymakers, the movement aims to “unblock” the barriers that impede CVD patients from improving their health outcomes, starting with CVD.

There are three main components of the Unblocked Movements:

Firstly, #LifeUnblocked creates awareness of heart issues amongst individuals and encourage them to adopt healthier habits.

Secondly, #CareUnblocked that focuses on helping healthcare providers by removing non-clinical roadblocks.

Finally, #NationUnblocked aims to create partnerships between the public and private sectors to tackle the bigger challenges that heart diseases present to society and the economy.

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