BACKGROUND: The Glivec International Patient Assistance Program (GIPAP) is designed to provide access to the cancer therapy Imatinib (Glivec⊠), which is indicated for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
OBJECTIVES: To identify factors those influence the quality of care and structural improvements. Design . Physicians (n=50), hospital administrators (n=10) and Ministry of Health officials (n=7) in 39 developing countries participated in qualitative interviews. The interviews focused on the impact of GIPAP on service delivery, patient tracking systems and cancer registries, health financing, and workforce.
RESULTS: Service delivery, patient management, access to care, diagnostic capacity, and health workers' skills improved at participants' institutions following implementation of GIPAP.
CONCLUSIONS: Positive institutional changes that improve care of CML/GIST patients arose from GIPAP. Some of these changes may strengthen institutions' capacity to treat other diseases as well. The GIPAP model could be deployed to improve access to care for patients with other chronic diseases.