At CGD, we believe that the thoughtful application of economic theory and evidence can help build a better world. This conviction is clearly shared by Dr. Jean Tirole, Nobel laureate in economics and chairman of the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
CGD Policy Blogs
“Better data drive better decisions” is a truism that researchers everywhere are all too familiar with. Increasing the availability, usability, and relevance of data is key to tracking performance and informing smarter, more efficient policies—but too often the data we need simply aren’t available, at least not in a useful format. Recently, we’ve been exploring the availability of data (or lack thereof) related to global health commodity markets in the context of CGD’s working group on the Future of Global Health Procurement. To ground the working group’s recommendations, we’re trying to understand the current state of health commodity procurement in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)—specifically which commodities are procured, by whom, how, and at what price.
What can we say about the relative size and composition of health commodity markets across different countries? We took a stab at piecing together publicly available data sources to find an initial answer for low- and middle-income countries as part of the background work to inform the CGD Working Group on the Future of Global Health Procurement.
Whether it’s called strategic purchasing, evidence-informed commissioning, or value-based insurance, the quest to squeeze better value out of existing resources is global. But lack of clarity regarding global and national healthcare investment goals, coupled with low technical capacity in ministries of health and insurance funds and multiple competing interests for attracting healthcare dollars, all make proactive evidence-informed buying hard to achieve. The global health community ought to help Ghana and countries like it strengthen their national systems for allocating resources including when selecting, negotiating prices, and procuring medicines for their populations.
The Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a new audit report on Wambo.org, its online procurement platform for drugs and other health commodities. The headline: despite high marks from its users, Wambo.org is not yet on track to deliver the projected savings. But more than the headline, a close read of the report narrative helps us understand why reality does not yet reflect the Global Fund’s optimistic assumptions—and, reading between the lines, suggests three important lessons for the Global Fund and other international funders
Health products—including drugs, devices, diagnostics, and vector control tools—are essential for meeting the healthcare needs of any population. Right now, many low- and lower-middle-income countries rely on donor-managed mechanisms to procure a large share of these health commodities. But this status quo won’t stay static for long, and the global health community must prepare for sweeping changes in global health and procurement over the next 10–20 years. Here’s some of what we see happening now and on the immediate horizon.