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EquiStep Initiative: Novo Nordisk and Nanyang Unite for Improved Haemophilia Care in Thailand

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In a groundbreaking alliance, Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare powerhouse, has teamed up with Nanyang, a prestigious Thai footwear manufacturer, and the Thai Haemophilia Patient Club to launch the pioneering “EquiStep” initiative. This multifaceted collaboration is set to revolutionize awareness, care access, and inclusivity for individuals living with haemophilia across Thailand.

Haemophilia, a rare genetic bleeding disorder, affects approximately 320,000 individuals worldwide, according to the World Federation of Haemophilia. While Thailand is estimated to have around 5,750 cases, only 2,138—or 37%—are officially registered in the Thailand Haemophilia Registry. This under-registration leaves 62% of patients, particularly those with mild to moderate symptoms, without adequate care and effective treatments.

Dr. Pantep Angchaisuksiri, Professor of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, and President of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), sheds light on the intricate challenges haemophilia patients face: “Haemophilia is a genetic disorder that hinders blood clotting due to deficient clotting factors. Passed through an abnormal gene, it’s primarily boys who bear the brunt, though mothers can be carriers. Frequent symptoms include joint bleeds that cause pain and mobility issues, muscle bruising, prolonged bleeding from injuries, nosebleeds, and blood in urine. Severe cases may lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. Early diagnosis and prophylactic clotting factor treatment are pivotal to managing this lifelong condition and preventing complications like chronic joint damage.”

Dr. Pantep further emphasized ISTH’s role: “As leaders in tackling global healthcare disparities, particularly in haemophilia care, ISTH drives research excellence and innovation that informs clinical guidelines and enhances equitable care. Through international collaboration, we’re not just exchanging knowledge—we’re crafting a future where everyone with haemophilia can access the necessary treatment to lead fulfilling lives.”

The “EquiStep” project will see Nanyang produce 1,500 pairs of specially designed shoes by renowned artist Kru Parn – Somnuek Klangnok, incorporating the “Cocoon” character. Chakrapol Chandavimol, Ph.D., Managing Director of Nanyang Marketing Co., Ltd., remarked, “As a 100% genuine Thai rubber footwear brand with over 70 years of legacy, having produced more than 300 million pairs of shoes and receiving quality certification from the Thai Industrial Standards Institute, Nanyang is proud to be seen as a ‘Premium Thai Product.’ Our role in this project underscores our commitment to equitable access to essential resources. Our contribution symbolizes equality, a value deep-rooted in our brand.”

Ekawat Suwantaroj, Vice President of the Thai Haemophilia Patient Club and a person with severe haemophilia A, expressed heartfelt gratitude: “This multi-stakeholder partnership is a significant stride toward ensuring that haemophilia patients in Thailand receive comprehensive care and equitable access to necessary resources.” With over 20 years of service and more than 700 members nationwide across five regional chapters, the Thai Haemophilia Patient Club collaborates closely with the National Haemophilia Foundation of Thailand to support their activities.

Prof. Darintr Sosothikul, M.D., Chief of Haematology and Oncology at Chulalongkorn Hospital, outlined the current standard of haemophilia care recommended by the World Federation of Haemophilia—prophylactic treatment. “Instead of responding to bleeding episodes after they occur, prophylaxis involves regularly infusing clotting factor concentrates 1-2 times per week. This approach helps maintain adequate factor levels, averting bleeding episodes altogether and promoting near-normal musculoskeletal development and function in haemophilia patients.”

Enrico Cañal Bruland, VP & General Manager of Novo Nordisk Pharma (Thailand), echoed this sentiment: “Ensuring equitable access to comprehensive haemophilia care is a top priority for Novo Nordisk. Through the ‘EquiStep’ project, we aim to provide holistic resources that can significantly improve the quality of life for haemophilia patients. This collaboration aligns with our policy of partnering with stakeholders to elevate patient care standards. We hope this initiative will inspire widespread recognition of the importance of equitable access to medical care and support in Thai society.”

The “EquiStep” collaboration encapsulates the shared vision and ambition of Novo Nordisk, Nanyang, and the Thai Haemophilia Patient Club to promote equity in healthcare access and enhance outcomes for individuals living with haemophilia in Thailand. The specially designed shoes serve as a powerful symbol of equality and non-discrimination, emphasizing the significance of awareness and the potential for patients to lead normal, fulfilling lives with proper treatment.


  1. Jane Doe June 26, 2024

    This initiative could truly revolutionize healthcare for haemophilia patients in Thailand!

    • medical_insider June 26, 2024

      True, but is partnering with a footwear company really a breakthrough solution?

      • haemo_warrior June 26, 2024

        The visibility and symbolic value of the shoes can help raise awareness and funding, don’t underestimate that.

    • Tim June 26, 2024

      Such initiatives highlight the importance of cross-industry collaborations. Healthcare needs innovation.

      • Jane Doe June 26, 2024

        Absolutely, Tim! Innovation often comes from unexpected partnerships.

  2. Ali Stephens June 26, 2024

    What about the unregistered haemophilia patients? An initiative like this can’t help if they don’t know about it.

  3. grower134 June 26, 2024

    Special shoes? Sounds like a gimmick to me. How about focusing on affordable treatment?

    • Dr. L June 26, 2024

      Awareness initiatives are critical for driving policy changes and funding mechanisms.

      • grower134 June 26, 2024

        I get that, but who’s footing the bill for these awareness campaigns? Taxpayers?

      • Jane Doe June 26, 2024

        The funding usually comes from the companies involved as part of their corporate social responsibility.

  4. health_guru93 June 26, 2024

    Can we just appreciate how groundbreaking this collaboration is? Novo Nordisk has always led in innovative healthcare.

  5. Tina June 26, 2024

    I wonder if similar initiatives could be implemented in other countries with a high prevalence of haemophilia.

    • medical_insider June 26, 2024

      Actually, different regions may need tailor-made solutions based on their unique challenges.

      • Tina June 26, 2024

        Good point. Customization based on local needs is crucial for success.

  6. Raj P. June 26, 2024

    This is a step forward, but how sustainable is this approach in the long term?

    • Samantha L. June 26, 2024

      Sustainability always depends on continued funding and support from all stakeholders involved.

  7. Nina June 26, 2024

    Thai-made shoes for Thai patients—these symbolic gestures can inspire national pride!

  8. Laura M. PhD June 26, 2024

    As a researcher, this aligns perfectly with global health equity goals. More multi-sector partnerships like these are needed.

    • science_guy34 June 26, 2024

      Exactly, interdisciplinary collaboration is the future of meaningful healthcare reform.

      • Laura M. PhD June 26, 2024

        Yes! Combining expertise from different fields leads to holistic solutions.

  9. BigMike June 26, 2024

    Hope they can keep up the momentum. Initiatives start with a bang and then fizzle out.

  10. Jamie L. June 26, 2024

    I read that only a small percentage of patients are officially registered. The system needs reform for this to work.

    • TommyT June 26, 2024

      Correct. Under-registration is a huge issue in many countries, not just Thailand.

      • Jamie L. June 26, 2024

        Hopefully, this initiative can also push for better registration processes.

  11. Carlos M. June 26, 2024

    The art on the shoes looks cool, but let’s not forget that real change comes from government policy and healthcare reform.

  12. Lindsay June 26, 2024

    My cousin has haemophilia. It’s great to see such efforts for awareness and better care.

  13. Dave87 June 26, 2024

    Corporate-driven initiatives like these are often more about publicity than actual impact.

    • Eco_Warrior June 26, 2024

      While that might be true, they can still make a difference if implemented well.

      • Dave87 June 26, 2024

        I guess time will tell if this is just a PR stunt or a real commitment.

  14. Joe June 26, 2024

    Does anyone know how the shoes help with haemophilia care? I’m a bit confused here.

    • Leslie P. June 26, 2024

      The shoes are a part of raising awareness and funds, not a direct treatment method.

      • Joe June 26, 2024

        Ah, got it. Awareness is key to getting people the help they need.

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