[Ip-health] HHS Listening Session WHA72 – KEI Statement Regarding Universal Health Care and Delinkage

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Tue May 7 09:02:39 PDT 2019


https://www.keionline.org/30675

HHS Listening Session WHA72 – KEI Statement Regarding Universal Health Care
and Delinkage

Posted on May 7, 2019 by Luis Gil Abinader

On Monday May 6, 2019, KEI gave the following intervention during the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Listening Session in advance
of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva on May
20-28, 2019.

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KEI Statement – HHS Listening Session WHA72
11.5 – Universal Health Coverage


The United States, like many other countries, has an aging population.

According to the Population Reference Bureau report, “Aging in the United
States,”[1] “The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more
than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the
65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly
24 percent from 15 percent.”

Many other countries are experiencing similar demographic shifts.

These demographic shifts make it more challenging to provide universal
health care.

In order to have both universal health care and equal access to new medical
technologies, governments will have to embrace new approaches to financing
biomedical innovation.

KEI favors delinking the financing of R&D, including the incentives for
private investments.

Any method of financing innovation that depends upon a temporary monopoly
as the incentive is expensive and features both rationing and an inequality
of access.

But whatever approaches governments take, having greater transparency of
the economics of biomedical markets and innovation is critically important.

One area where universal health care is particularly at risk concerns the
new cell- and gene-therapies, such as Luxturna, a gene-therapy that can
restore vision in people with a specific genetic mutation that causes
progressive vision loss, or CAR T treatments for cancer. Access to these
very expensive treatments is extremely limited in developing countries, a
fact that should be addressed by the WHO. Government policies on licensing
inventions could also expand access and make treatments more affordable.

[1]
https://www.prb.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/aging-us-population-bulletin-1.pdf


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