A little-known enemy
Colorectal cancer (CRC) has the highest diagnosis rate in Spain for all types of cancer and the second-highest mortality rate. Its treatment in advanced stages generates high costs for the health system as well as a worse quality of life for patients.
Johnson & Johnson, a 130-year old pharmaceutical company with 130,000 employees across the globe, tasked iPg with the implementation of a strategy to strengthen screening test programs that enable the detection of early-stage CRC.
In 2017, only 44% of the target population were invited to take part in the screening program in Spain: women and men aged between 50 and 69 years.
Unfortunately, just 20% took part in the program.
Early detection can reduce CRC treatment costs by up to ten times compared with the cost associated with advanced-stage detection, the latter of which can reach 40,000 euros.
“iPg works with the highest degree of professionalism and always focuses on what truly matter.”
A small step with huge benefits for all
Just how do you expand coverage and participation in CRC screening test programs in Spain?
How can you ensure better patient care throughout the entire process and improve health system efficiency at the same time?
We created a multidisciplinary group of experts and associations including the Spanish Coloproctology Association (AECP), the patients’ association EuropaColon Spain, and digestive system and medical oncology surgery specialists.
Together, we developed an improvement plan for key autonomous Spanish regions with the end goal to improve early-stage diagnosis rates and reduce health system costs. The key steps to this were to:
- Expand entry points and facilitate the diagnosis process
- Integrate the pharmacy network
- Improve communication with medical professionals
We analyzed studies and official statistics, as well as diagnostic kit composition and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to develop a case for decision-makers to consider.
We developed points of contact with autonomous regions to show that the CRC screening test program is cost-efficient, a finding backed up by various instances of empirical evidence. The treatment cost savings in advanced stages is superior to the screening test program cost. Long term, this would lead to an important economic saving for the health system.
But providing such information to the authorities was just the first step.
At the experts’ request, we created a communication campaign aimed at the public to raise awareness on the importance of participation in these programs.
The purpose was to demystify the diagnostic testing process. After all, it isn’t a colonoscopy and it can be done comfortably.
The message that we transmitted was to essentially say that the test is quick and simple, and that it is done from the comfort of your own home:
Test yourself in an instant!