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Roche Expands Global Access Program to Include Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, HPV Tests

NEW YORK – Roche said today that it is expanding its Global Access Program to include tests for tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and human papillomavirus in programs for low- and middle-income countries where the disease burden is the highest.

"With effective treatment options for these infectious agents and improved patient access to diagnostics, early detection can help save lives and ease suffering," Roche Diagnostics CEO Michael Heuer said in a statement.

Roche's Global Access Program started in 2014, originally to increase access to HIV diagnostics. At the time, Roche said it would provide special pricing to qualifying organizations in eligible countries. The company also partnered with national governments, local healthcare facilities, and communities and international agencies to establish programs that go beyond providing diagnostic tests.

Roche expanded the program in 2015 to include HIV testing for infants, and in 2016 and 2017 to include additional HIV tests and organizations.

The latest expansion adds molecular tests for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB and MTB-RIF/INH), hepatitis B and C (HBV and HCV), and human papillomavirus (HPV). The program also includes tests for HIV-1 viral load, HIV-1 and HIV-2 early infant diagnosis, and the Cobas Plasma Separation Card, a plasma collection device to transport samples from remote areas to central labs. All assays run on the Cobas 4800/6800/8800 platforms.

According to David Ripin, CSO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a partner in the program, the Global Access Program is "providing health systems with transparent and consistent pricing to these important tests in addition to the HIV viral load and early infant diagnostics already established in the program."