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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Demand Forecasting Takes Off

In early 2006, CGD convened a working group–led by Ruth Levine- to address a pervasive problem in global health: poor forecasting of expected demand for key products. Long-term strategic demand forecasts are needed in order for manufacturers to make capacity investments, make more accurate long term plans for manufacturing and distribution, and for donors to conduct better multi-year program planning. Medium-term demand forecasts are equally essential. When such forecasts are off, manufacturers have to dispose of unsold drugs; donors and ministries of health may face uncertain prices and availability of essential products; and –most importantly- communities and individuals can face the terrible prospect of shortages, incomplete treatments and the emergence of drug resistance.  The Wall Street Journal’s recent coverage of shortages of pediatric tuberculosis (TB) treatments demonstrates the weaknesses –or perhaps absence- of adequate demand forecasting in India’s anti-TB programs.

Is the Price Right? Evaluating Advanced Market Commitments for Vaccines

CGD has been following Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) for vaccines for a while now: from its groundwork in the CGD report Making Markets for Vaccines, to its launch and the delivery of its first vaccines in 2010 (GAVI also offers a nice timeline of events here).  This innovative financing mechanism aims to increase investment in vaccines for use in lower-middle income countries (LMIC)by guaranteeing a market for appropriate health products and services, reducing unpredictability or volatility that can discourage private investment, and increasing competition and innovation between companies and organizations (read more here). 

Nudging Global Health

This is a joint post with Denizhan Duran.

Leveraging better health outcomes is difficult without addressing the behavioral roots of health problems: around half of the world’s disability-adjusted life years are lost due to behavioral factors such as physical inactivity, high blood pressure, malnutrition and smoking. On top of these, a significant portion of the burden associated with communicable diseases is also due to behavioral factors: limited use of preventive health care like immunization, poor child feeding practices, risky-taking behaviors, poor adherence to treatment and poor hygiene are all important drivers of healthy life years lost in low- and middle-income countries.

Learning from the Early Success of India’s Health Insurance for the Poor, RSBY

India’s finance minister Chidambaram recently announced that Anil Swarup, the leader behind the Ministry of Labour’s health insurance program for the poor, was assigned as the head of a panel to identify and get results for 215 large and long-stalled projects. While this big news of Swarup’s transfer was anticipated, just five years ago it was hardly imaginable that Swarup and his team would start India’s health insurance program for the poor – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) – and grow this fledgling to be one of India’s increasingly important vehicles of social protection and health coverage. While the evidence on RSBY is still developing, early results are encouraging: increased health care utilization and hospitalization; some indication of reduced out-of-pocket payments for healthcare; and a means of identification with a clearly linked entitlement (see here).

More Health for the Money: Comments Welcome

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and its partners could save more lives with the same amount of money by allocating it in ways designed to maximize the positive impact on health. That is the central message of CGD’s Value for Money Working group report – More Health for the Money: A Practical Agenda for the Global Fund and Its Partners – now available as a consultation draft [PDF] through July 12.