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With shifting disease burdens, growing uncertainties about the future of development assistance for health, and rising demands for more expensive and complex healthcare comes the need for a greater focus on value for money. International health funders and agencies want to know how to make resources stretch further by focusing on the highest impact interventions among the most affected populations. Whether through more efficient procurement systems and supply chains, results-based financing, or more detailed assessments of the effectiveness of health technology, CGD’s work aims to make health funding go further to save, prolong, and improve more lives.
December 12 marks the fifth annual Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. Half a decade after the landmark UN endorsement, more countries than ever are working to translate UHC goals into reality through defined, tangible, equitable, and comprehensive health services for their populations. To celebrate, CGD is pleased to host a short program—Better Decisions, Better Health: Practical Experiences Supporting UHC from Around the World.
With aid budgets shrinking and even low-income countries increasingly faced with cofinancing requirements, this is the right time for global health funders such as the Global Fund and their donors to formally introduce Health Technology Assessment (HTA), both at the central operations level and at the national or regional level in recipient countries. In this CGD Note, we explain why introducing HTA is a good idea. Specifically, we outline six benefits that the application of HTA could bring to the Global Fund, the countries it supports, and the broader global health community.
Vaccinate children against measles and mumps or pay for the costs of dialysis treatment for kidney disease patients? Pay for cardiac patients to undergo lifesaving surgery, or channel money toward efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease in the first place? For universal health care (UHC) to become a reality, policymakers looking to make their money go as far as possible must make tough life-or-death choices like these.
Many low- and middle-income countries aspire to universal health coverage (UHC), but for rhetoric to become reality, the health services offered must be consistent with the funds available, which may require tough tradeoffs. An explicit health benefits package—a defined list of services that are and are not subsidized—is essential in creating a sustainable UHC system.
UNITAID: maybe you’ve heard of it, or maybe not. Launched in 2006, UNITAID has lived in the shadow of its older and bigger global-health siblings (the Global Fund, GAVI, and PEPFAR, to name a few). Perhaps due to its relative obscurity and late entry to a crowded global-health field, UNITAID has proactively worked to differentiate itself through a focus on commodities, market shaping, novel funding sources, and innovation. To wit, UNITAID’s stated mission is “to contribute to scale up access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis for the people in developing countries by leveraging price reductions of quality drugs and diagnostics, which currently are unaffordable for most developing countries, and to accelerate the pace at which they are made available.”