Joint effort by Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital & Roche Malaysia

Penang, March 28, 2019 – While the access to affordable cancer treatment is multifaceted, a hospital cannot do it on its own, especially for a not-for-profit cancer hospital like Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital. To overcome this, Mount Miriam has partnered Roche Malaysia to launch the Mount Miriam – Roche Cares Program, to help reduce the financial burden of HER2-positive breast cancer patients from the low income group.

Under this program, Roche Malaysia will supply 180 vials of targeted therapy while Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital has pledged RM 1 million from its Needy Cancer Patient Fund to help HER2-positive breast cancer patients.

Through this partnership, eligible HER2-positive cancer patients are entitled to the targeted therapy at a subsidised rate where patients pay RM2,100 only for a cycle instead of RM 8,900. Patients gain a substantial savings of up to 75% of a standard treatment that usually requires up to 18 cycles.

HER2-positive breast cancer patients have abnormal HER2 genes. Excessive amounts of the gene and the protein receptors it produces encourages the rapid growth of cancer cells, making HER2-positive breast cancer to behave more aggressively than other types of breast cancer1. It affects 1 in every 5 breast cancer patients worldwide2.

Penang Chief Minister YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow commended Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital and Roche Malaysia for the partnership. He said the State Government welcomes such programs that will benefit breast cancer patients especially those in Penang. “This program fully meets the Penang State Government’s 4P model which is public, private, professional and people partnership to carry out projects with minimal use of public funds,” he said. Chow added that the Malaysian National Cancer Registry report showed that Penang recorded the 3rd highest incidence of new cancer cases every year in Malaysia with 11 out of 100 people testing positive for cancer with breast cancer being the highest3.  “I applaud those in the private sector who step up to assist patients from low income groups as well as to ease the burden of public hospitals. I hope the partnership between Mount Miriam and Roche Malaysia will serve as an exemplary corporate responsibility initiative for other pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organisations,” he added.

“Having served the community for 43 years as a not-for-profit hospital, not only does Mount Miriam rely on the donations from the community to keep the Needy Cancer Patient Fund going, our partners also clearly play a crucial role in helping us to make cancer treatment accessible to all regardless their financial status. It is only by working with different parties that we are able to go the extra mile. Roche is a worthy, credible, socially responsible partner that we are proud to be associated with,” said Joan Lim-Choong, the Chief Executive Officer of Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital.

“Development in medicine is advancing at a different pace than the systems that assess, fund and deliver treatments to patients. At Roche, patients are our focus and with this purpose, we continuously work and invest in capacity and capability building with various stakeholders in the healthcare sector to address and improve the delivery of healthcare solutions to patients. We also understand the local healthcare needs of patients and look forward to more public-private partnership collaboration to provide innovative solutions, while increasing patients’ accessibility to our medicines”, said Vinod Narayanan, Business Unit Director of Roche Malaysia who was present at the launch event.

“Today, we are extremely humbled to join hands with Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital to introduce this welfare fund to Penangites with the aim of alleviating breast cancer patients’ financial burden. This follows last year’s partnership with Beacon Hospital whereby we had launched Roche Cares -  a co-payment model involving Roche, patients and funders (for example healthcare and non-governmental organisations, charitable corporations, and others) in accessing innovative treatments. On this note, we would like to applaud Mount Miriam for taking this step and embarking on this partnership with us,” added Vinod.

This 12-month program is open to 20 new HER2-positive breast cancer patients on a first come first serve basis. It is open for application from 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020. Those who are interested can apply from Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital’s Medical Social Welfare Department, after which eligibility assessment will be done according to the Needy Cancer Patient Fund policy. For further information, kindly contact Ms Bee Wah from Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital at

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Priscillia Yuen


  1. MD, S. H. (2018, March 15). Management of Early-Stage HER2-Positive Breast Cancer. Retrieved from

  2. J. F. (2019, January 21). What's to know about HER2-positive breast cancer? Retrieved from

  3. Health D. The Malaysian National Cancer Registry Report (MNCR) 2007-2011 [Internet]. From the Desk of the Director-General of Health Malaysia. 2018 [cited 1 March 2018]. Available from: (page 31) 


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