Sandoz, the Novartis generic and biosimilar pharmaceutical division, has announced the launch of Sandoz HACk – Healthcare Access Challenge – a global competition to generate innovative ideas and solutions to help tackle some of the world’s most pressing healthcare access problems.

The Sandoz HACk competition is open for entries from 18 to 35 year olds around the world until 30 November 2016.

According to the WHO, despite the significant advances made in modern medicine, more than two billion people worldwide cannot access the medicines they need and more than 400 million lack access to essential health services.

 The combined efforts of stakeholders across both public and private sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry, not-for-profit organisations and governments have made significant advances in tackling healthcare access challenges worldwide. But, according to Sandoz, these large scale systemic initiatives need to be supported by community-led change, driven by innovative small scale solutions that can make a big difference.

Therefore, Sandoz HACk has been launched, inviting people to generate novel solutions to tackle key healthcare access challenges in local communities.

“We are seeing healthcare costs increasing at a rate faster than inflation in South Africa,” said Commercial Excellence Head at Sandoz, Carel Meintjes.

“I am convinced that there are brilliant young minds with wonderful, innovative ideas on how to improve healthcare. We believe that Sandoz HACk will create the platform to voice these creative ideas which will ultimately help to improve access to healthcare in South Africa,” continued Meintjes.

Mobile technology is radically altering how care is delivered and received worldwide and the influence of mobile in healthcare is likely to continue evolving in the future. In its inaugural year, Sandoz HACk encourages today’s generation of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to enter ideas that harness mHealth technologies to help solve relevant local healthcare access challenges.

Following a robust judging process, the six finalist entries will be published on OpenIDEO – a global community of leading organisations and individuals working together to design solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. Entrants’ ideas will be refined and evolved in partnership with this online community before being presented to a panel of judges.

Three winners will be chosen and awarded seed funding and mentorship to help bring their ideas to life.

Details of how to enter the competition and the terms and conditions can be found on the Sandoz website  and Facebook page.

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