90% of countries are still reporting disruptions to essential health services due to the health emergency, according to UNDP data
Although many health indicators are moving in the right direction, two years of the pandemic and the slow return to normal threatens the achievement of the health chapter of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
For this reason, as part of the celebration of World Health Day this April 7, the Federation of Pharmaceutical Laboratories of Central America and the Caribbean (Fedefarma) calls on the authorities to assess the effectiveness of their plans and actions at benefit of public health.
“Before the pandemic, great advances were made in the world, such as increasing life expectancy, reducing infant and maternal mortality, etc. However, more efforts are needed to completely eradicate a wide variety of diseases and address current and emerging health issues. Greater investment in health is needed to improve patient access to innovative therapies. Only then can we achieve SDG Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages,” said Victoria Brenes, Executive Director of Fedefarma.
Some 90% of countries are still reporting disruptions to essential health services due to the pandemic, according to data from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In addition, World Bank estimates of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic indicate that inadequate nutrition and disruptions to essential health services significantly increase maternal and child deaths, by 39% and 45% respectively, in the poorest countries.
For Fedefarma, a thorough reflection is needed not only on how to ensure more funds for public health, but also on how to manage these resources more effectively.
According to the latest report on basic indicators from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), almost all countries in the Americas invest less than 6% of their GDP in public health, the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization. health (WHO).
In the case of Central America, the investment is only 3.8%, with Costa Rica being the country with the highest percentage (5.6%), followed by Panama (4.8%) ; Dominican Republic (2.8%) and the country with the lowest investment index is Guatemala, with only 2.2%
a lot of work to do
Currently, chronic non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney and congestive heart failure, and cardiovascular disease in general continue to pose a challenge. Similarly, oncological diseases and rare or orphan diseases, such as hemophilia, multiple sclerosis or pulmonary hypertension, require cost-effectiveness analysis by health systems.
“The pharmaceutical industry has focused its efforts on researching and developing innovations to improve the quality of life of patients. For example, at the present time, particular emphasis has been placed on gene therapy, immunotherapy, personalized and targeted therapy, monoclonal antibodies, among others,” the executive director of Fedefarma pointed out.
The 8 main health challenges of the region
The sustainability of health systems (economic).
Access to health services for vulnerable populations.
The lack of specialized health professionals (number of doctors per 1,000 inhabitants).
Quick access to innovative therapies.
The lack of updating of official lists of medicines in the public sector.
Moving from the concept of price to that of value in public drug procurement
Move from basic drug lists to more comprehensive benefit plans
The importance of adopting commercial systems such as managed purchase or entry agreements and having strong regulatory systems.
Fedefarma is an association that represents the innovative pharmaceutical industry that researches, develops and markets drugs and therapies for the prevention, treatment and cure of disease. It is made up of 19 multinational research and development laboratories, present in Central America and the Caribbean. Part of our mission is to promote access to advances in medical science, through institutional support programs focused on access to medicines and sustainability. We collaborate with governments and health authorities, regulatory bodies, the medical and scientific community, universities and patients, to facilitate access to innovation and guarantee the quality, safety and efficacy of the medicines consumed. by the people.