Janssen Romania, the pharmaceuticals arm of multinational group Johnson & Johnson, has invested EUR 154,000 in the development of the first curriculum for the palliative care of cancer patients, said Christian Rodseth, managing director of Janssen Romania.

The investment was carried out as part of the company’s community involvement platform.

According to statistics, some 160,000 patients need palliative care in Romania, but at present the current specialized centers can help only 10 percent of them.  The Onco PAL Curriculum is jointly developed with HOSPICE Casa Sperantei and targets doctors and residents.

In the first phase, 20 specialists were trained to handle the palliative care program in some of the largest Romanian cities.

The pharma company said that it developed 90 projects to support the community that had over 14,000 direct beneficiaries between 2016 and 2017. Some of these initiatives will be continued in the next year, according to company representatives.

“We want the experience of patients in the treatment stage to be better,” said Cristian Benza, medical affairs director of Janssen Romania.

Benza cited some of the local patient support programs such as the free imaging tests for all prostate cancer patients and the free multiple sclerosis tests. In addition, close to 270 schizophrenia patients were enrolled in a support program.

The company has also supported programs aimed at reducing the school dropout rate and improving the social assistance programs for children in poor areas. Some of the programs aim to enhance medical education in rural areas.

In the EMEA region, which comprises over 30 markets including Romania, Johnson & Johnson allocated over GBP 7.7 million to finance community involvement programs in 2016. It resulted in 550,000 direct beneficiaries and over 2 million indirect beneficiaries.