Alere has been establishing benchmarks in diagnostic & monitoring services by delivering high-quality products and services to both patients and healthcare providers. These services & devices have been strengthening decision-making capabilities of healthcare stakeholders by providing accurate and actionable information. As a firm believer in innovation and changes, Alere has been successfully steering changes, shares Namal Nawana, CEO & President, Alere Inc exclusively with Elets News Network (ENN)
Since our September issue focuses on ‘Preventive Healthcare’, could you please walk us through your point-ofcare diagnostic products that are enabling prevention through screening?
Point-of-care diagnostics is a growing and dynamic industry. Alere delivers reliable, actionable information through a full suite of rapid diagnostic tests Our products accelerate decisionmaking for the most costly chronic conditions, in infectious diseases, cardiometabolic diseases and toxicology, helping to deliver better clinical and economic healthcare outcomes globally.
• Our infectious disease diagnostic tests and monitoring devices provide results for over 75 types of infectious diseases, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Tests are available across a variety of platforms, including rapid point-ofcare diagnostic tests and advanced instruments that provide results in as little as 5 minutes. Our products and services include tests to assist in the diagnosis and management of many infectious diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), malaria, dengue, tuberculosis and many more.
• Our cardiometabolic portfolio includes tests to assist in the diagnosis and management of many cardiometabolic factors and conditions, including cardiac markers, glucose and HbA1C, cholesterol levels, blood gases, and home monitoring for ventricular assist device (VAD) and oral anticoagulation.
• Our drug and alcohol testing products and services allow you to make fast and informed decisions. Alere’s toxicology solutions are used in a multitude of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, physician offices, criminal justice systems, workplace, rehabilitation centres, occupational health clinics, home testing centres and more.
Undoubtedly, early screening of diseases and economic growth are closely related to each other. In the light of the above, please enumerate the ways by which Alere is assisting in achieving the above.
We make critical test results available immediately, which eliminates needless delays that affect outcomes, increase costs and burden healthcare systems. Faster results enable better decisions that get patients back to what matters most — a safe, healthy, enjoyable and productive life.
For example, India has the third highest number of estimated people living with HIV in the world. According to the HIV Estimations 2012, the number of people living with HIV/ AIDS in India was 20.89 lakh. With technology advancements and scientific breakthroughs, HIV has become more manageable. Alere is at the forefront of these advancements, working to provide tools to help monitor those with HIV and provide results that put them on the path to better health. The Alere Pima™ CD4 Analyser is an important tool in helping to improve access to results and ultimately better manage this disease. Alere’s Pima CD4 Analyser provides the healthcare professionals (HCP) with easier access to dependable absolute CD4 count in less than 20 minutes at the point-of-care, without a lab. Not only does it increase efficiencies, it also enhances patient management, allowing you to make important treatment decisions and provide antiretroviral therapy (ART), if needed. Working closely with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI), we have provided Pima CD4 devices to help their initiative to make HIV testing and care more accessible. We are also supplying National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) to further strengthen their efforts to enable affordable testing to patients in remote areas. The machines are presently deployed in several ART centres.
What are the key challenges related to cardiometabolic diseases, new psychoactive substances, antimicrobial resistance, etc. in an emerging country like India. How is Alere overcoming these roadblocks?
• Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the main causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. As an emerging population, South Asians bear a disproportionately high burden of CVD due to genetic predisposition and other lifestyle factors.The key challenges being faced in cardiac care in India are lower availability, accessibility, and affordability of effective and efficient treatment, coupled with the absence of a focused policy towards noncommunicable diseases, including CVDs. The strategic priorities must include purposeful education, continuous screening and monitoring, and a focus on improving the health of populations. Alere has a strong portfolio of cardiometabolic screening solutions to assist in the diagnosis and management of many cardiometabolic factors and conditions, including cardiac markers, glucose and HbA1C, cholesterol levels, blood gases, and home monitoring for VAD and oral anticoagulation. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the major public health problems, especially in developing countries where relatively easy availability and higher consumption of medicines have led to disproportionately a higher incidence of inappropriate use of antibiotics and greater levels of resistance compared to developed countries. In India, the infectious disease burden is among the highest in the world. If left unchecked, antimicrobial resistance will result in difficulty in controlling the diseases in the community and lead to ineffective delivery of the healthcare services. Rapid diagnostic tests are high on the patient safety agenda, but require widespread uptake and investment. They can improve diagnostic precision in GP consultation, and increase patient education, as well as are cost effective, and importantly, reduce antibiotic prescribing. We believe that there should be an integrated approach between providers and consumers to effectively prevent antimicrobial resistance. Alere is committed to engaging with all key stakeholders of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) programme to explore the effective use of appropriate diagnostic methods pertaining to antimicrobial resistance, monitoring and hence prevent the rampant misuse of antibiotics.
• Alere has a unique and wide range of rapid toxicology testing solutions for drug and alcohol testing. We are collaborating with state governments in supporting their resolve to have a drug-free state.
• Alere Pima™ CD4 Analyser: An important tool in helping to improve access to results & ultimately better manage HIV.
• CLIA-waived molecular test: Helps in detecting and differentiating influenza A and B virus in less than 15 minutes.
• epoc® Blood Analysis system: The first and only pointof- care solution for testing blood gases, electrolytes and metabolites.
• Alere q HIV-1/2 Detect: Provides the next-generation virological HIV-1 and HIV-2 results for both infants and adults at the point of care within 50 minutes.
With the recent announcement of the launch of an integrated manufacturing facility in India, please enumerate the key diseases identified by Alere in India that demand extensive early screening and better disease detection tools?
As you are aware, we have invested in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for rapid tests. Alere believes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Make in India,” and is committed to improving access to affordable rapid diagnostics in India and throughout the Asia Pacific region through this new world-class manufacturing facility. The Manesar facility will initially produce more than 150 million rapid diagnostic tests per year and will have the capacity to expand to 300 million tests over time.
Globally, Alere manufactures more than 1.5 billion tests annually and is deeply committed to working with governments, non-governmental organisations and other partners to make the company’s rapid tests affordable and accessible for those who need them.
In particular, the malaria tests manufactured in Manesar will help support the Government goal of eradicating this deadly disease in India by 2030.
How are Alere products different from other products in the Indian market? Please provide details.
• Alere is committed to delivering high-quality products and services that patients and providers can rely on for consistently accurate and actionable information. We deploy unique innovative technologies that not only transform diagnostic products, but also expand into new platforms and solutions with proven health and economic outcomes. Alere’s products give providers, physicians and patients access to the right information at the right time.
• In India, Alere Medical is the market leader in point-of-care tests and is also one of the fastest growing diagnostic companies having a national footprint. We are the market leader in rapid diagnostic tests for dengue and malaria. We have a comprehensive portfolio spanning the HIV continuum of care. Our cardiometabolic products and services provide timely cardiovascular and metabolic information used in a wide variety of settings, including hospital urgent care, laboratory, doctor’s office, or at home. Alere has a unique & wide range of toxicology testing solutions for drug and alcohol testing. We are collaborating with state governments in supporting their resolve to have a drug-free state. Alere works very closely with various state governments, government organisations and institutions like NACO and National Aids Research Institute (NARI). We also work with non-government organisations, such as the Clinton Foundation, and support them in their initiatives.
|Alere Inc – Key Takeaways|
• Offers products that accelerate decision-making for the most infectious disease, cardiometabolic disease and toxicology.
• Has diagnostic tests & monitoring devices that provide results for over 75 types of infectious diseases.
• Makes critical test results available immediately.
• Supplying Pima CD4 devices to NACO to enable affordable testing in remote areas.
• Committed to engaging with all key stakeholders of the AMR programme to explore the effective use of appropriate diagnostic methods.
• Collaborating with state governments in supporting their resolve to have a drug-free state.
• Manesar facility to initially produce more than 150 million rapid diagnostic tests per year & will have the capacity to expand to 300 million test over time.
What kind of expertise and research & development (R&D) is involved in the entire science behind the point-of-care diagnostic products developed at Alere’s manufacturing units?
We believe that fundamental changes to the way healthcare is practiced are inevitable, and we aim to successfully drive those changes well into the future. Our R&D efforts have helped deploy unique technologies that innovate transformative diagnostic products with proven clinical and economic outcomes.
Some examples of the scope of our innovation include:
The Alere i is an isothermal molecular technology platform that combines the performance of traditional PCR-based molecular testing with the speed and convenience of rapid diagnostic testing. In 2015, Alere launched the first and only CLIA-waived molecular test to detect and differentiate influenza A and B virus in less than 15 minutes. CLIA-waiver allows for broad use by healthcare providers, ranging from hospitals and physician offices to clinics and other healthcare settings.
The epoc® Blood Analysis system is the first and only point-of-care solution for testing blood gases, electrolytes and metabolites.
Alere offers high-quality and reliable HIV screening and monitoring tests, such as Alere q HIV-1/2 Detect, which provides the next-generation virological HIV-1 and HIV-2 results for both infants and adults at the point of care within 50 minutes.
A range of connectivity solutions that enable rapid point-of-care and inhome diagnostics to transmit data in real-time to a single integrated Alere platform – all managed centrally by our CloudCare environment. The integration of these and existing technologies will drive greater quality, accessibility and effectiveness in healthcare.