May 24, 2021

Roche Italia and Fujifilm Italia join forces to reprioritise breast health with the “screening routine” campaign

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•    A special joint project between the public and private sectors is contributing to the fight against breast cancer by helping healthcare facilities make up for time lost during the pandemic;
•    Roche Italia and Fujifilm Italia are joining forces to partner with the Italian National Health Service with a series of practical measures designed to improve disease prevention;
•    Women have not stopped looking after themselves, even during the pandemic, and wellbeing-related purchases increased by 72%. The “Screening Routine” prevention campaign takes its inspiration from this trend, using the most popular e-commerce sites to invite all women to take part in safe, regular breast screening;
•    Roche and Fujifilm’s practical contribution to the relaunch of screening services includes donating cutting-edge mammography equipment to a selection of Italian local health authorities. These were identified and selected by independent partner Fucina Sanità;
•    The initiative is sponsored by AIOM (The Italian Association of Medical Oncology), SIRM (The Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology), GISMa (The Italian Mammography Screening Group), F.A.V.O. (The Italian Federation of Volunteer-based Cancer Organizations) and Cittadinanzattiva.

Milan, 24 May 2021 – One of the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has been the suspension or postponement of many cancer screening services. Each year, these services help prevent and detect the presence of cancer at an early stage; timely diagnosis and care are crucial in preventing the spread of cancer. The National Screening Observatory has confirmed this, reporting alarming statistics: during the first 5 months of 2020, the hardest hit by the pandemic, breast screening fell by 53.8% compared to 2019, creating a backlog of 2.7 months. It is estimated that this could increase the breast cancer death rate at five years by between 8 and 9%. To make up for lost time and reverse this trend, this unprecedented situation will require an exceptional combined effort and commitment across the entire Health Service.  

This situation has led to a special joint project between Roche Italia and Fujifilm Italia which are joining forces for the first time to support the Health Service’s fight against breast cancer with the “Screening Routine” prevention campaign. Harnessing teamwork between the public and private sectors, this initiative aims to relaunch breast screening, helping women regain access to safe, regular cancer prevention services. 

The “Screening Routine” campaign speaks directly to women, using an unusual approach and online shopping channels to raise awareness about this important health concern. Although this year has been particularly hard, women have continued to look after themselves despite facing worries, job insecurity and new juggles. They have continued to turn to nutrition, make up and style to feel their best even when confined to home. Many have become their own beauticians, hairdressers and personal trainers. This trend is reflected in market research, which shows a 72% increase in sales of health and wellbeing-related products (Netcomm Focus Digital Health & Pharma - November 2020, Italy). And their preferred channels have been online shopping platforms, with many women turning to them for the first time in their lives.  The “Screening Routine” prevention campaign will launch on the most popular e-commerce websites, where adverts using language typical of the beauty and wellness industry will raise awareness and connect with Italian women, inviting them to reprioritise a precious ritual that protects their health and wellbeing: routine screening. And there is more to this initiative.

Roche and Fujifilm’s collaboration also involves donating cutting-edge mammography equipment to 10 Italian local health authorities, which were identified and selected by independent partner Fucina Sanità: Local Health Authority 1 in Imperia, Liguria; S. Croce and Carle Hospital in Cuneo, Piedmont; Local Social and Health Authority in Lodi, Lombardy; Local Health Authority Scaligera 9 in Verona, Veneto; Local Health Authority Umbria 1 in Perugia, Umbria; Local Health Authority Roma 3 in Rome, Lazio; Local Health Authority Lanciano Vasto Chieti 2 in Chieti, Abruzzo; Local Health Authority Napoli 2 Nord in Naples, Campania; Local Health Authority in Cosenza, Calabria; Local Health Authority in Palermo, Sicily. 

The six criteria used to choose these local health authorities were, in order of priority: cohesion to national and regional programmes; the need for balanced geographical distribution nationally and between urban and rural local health authorities; percentage decrease in examinations in 2020 vs previous years; the need to replace obsolete equipment, with a focus on the ratio between analogue and digital machines in each region; and the organisational structure of the hospital directorate and healthcare facilities to be involved on the basis of expected success in cutting waiting lists. The initiative will kick off in the identified regions, combined with local awareness-raising activities involving the healthcare facility partners and local people. 

The “Screening Routine” campaign, which is promoted by Roche Italia and Fujifilm Italia, is being carried out in collaboration with the Roche Foundation and Fucina Sanità, and is sponsored by AIOM (The Italian Association of Medical Oncology), SIRM (The Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology), GISMa (The Italian Mammography Screening Group), F.A.V.O. (The Italian Federation of Volunteer-based Cancer Organizations) and Cittadinanzattiva.

The pandemic, which hit our country so very hard, has exposed cracks in our healthcare system, slowing and, in some cases, blocking access to diagnosis and care pathways,” said Maurizio de Cicco, President and Managing Director of Roche Italia. “However, at the same time, it taught us the value of joining forces and working together to respond to the challenges faced in this emergency, strengthening the way in which the public and private sectors work together. This led to our special collaboration with Fujifilm. Following in the footsteps of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, our unique position as partners and stakeholders of the Health Service has allowed us to help improve its efficiency and efficacy. This initiative focuses on key elements including a new way of working for the Italian healthcare system, digitalisation, technology, and human capital development through research and training. With the “Screening Routine” campaign we would like to support and play an active role in helping the National Health Service become more innovative and sustainable, as well as improving the access to the entire care pathway: prevention, diagnosis and treatment.” 

In this unprecedented healthcare crisis, the role of industry is to actively support the Health Service’s strategic roadmap. The ultimate aim is to improve services for citizens and patients and, as a result, provide optimal access to prevention and care,” said Davide Campari, General Manager of Fujifilm Italia, Medical Systems division. “We are therefore honoured and delighted to be working with Roche Italia to launch the “Screening Routine” campaign, which is shining a light on the disastrous lack of access to breast screening services during the pandemic. It aspires to bring together all stakeholders of the Health Service, using an innovative platform, an unusual communication style and methods that are new for this sector."

Fucina Sanità is excited to be taking part in Roche Italia and Fujifilm Italia’s excellent initiative to encourage renewed uptake of breast screening services by retrieving waiting lists,” said Fulvio Moirano, Sole Director of Fucina Sanità. “In particular, we are sure that the donation of 10 cutting-edge mammography systems will encourage local health authorities to relaunch prevention services in an organised manner.

Find out more on the campaign website: and on Roche Italia and Fujifilm Italia digital and social media channels.