About this Research Topic
Pace of globalization has significantly accelerated since the end of the Cold War Era in 1989. These changes profoundly affected health care systems worldwide. Health policy makers increasingly started facing new harsh challenges in their uneasy task to provide universal health coverage and decent equity of access to medical services. Among the most prominent demand-side issues are extended longevity joined with population aging, rise of non-communicable diseases and growing patient expectations. Supply-side causes are gains in societal welfare and living standards, technological innovation in medicine and continuing rapid urbanization in developing world regions. Successful insurance-based risk sharing agreements made drug dispensing and medical service provision cheap or virtually free at the point of consumption in most OECD and many middle income countries. Coupled with massive build-up of workforce capacities and strengthening of primary care and hospital networks contributed to the "supplier induced demand" phenomenon.
There is straightforward historical evidence of long term growth in pharmaceutical and overall health spending both in absolute and GDP % terms worldwide. The accumulated constraints outsourcing from skyrocketing costs of care were felt in many areas of clinical medicine even among the richest societies. Cardinal examples of expensive and hardly affordable therapeutic areas are orphan drugs indicated to treat rare diseases and targeted biologicals used in autoimmune disorders and cancer. Last but not least, is troubled and frequently denied access to even essential generic pharmaceuticals still taking place in many nations. This appears to be particularly the case among the world’s poor and underserved citizens residing in rural and suburban areas of low and middle income countries. To a large extent, these difficulties are worsened by lack of evidence based resource allocation strategies and less sustainable financing strategies.
This Research Topic was created with a mission to tackle the core challenges of medicines provision and medical care financing across the Globe. Its target is to reveal some of the hidden underlying causes of uneven access to medicines, as well as growing proportion of out-of-pocket health spending in many world regions. In its basis the Topic belongs to the interdisciplinary sciences of pharmacoeconomics and health economics. Contributions of original research, review, opinion, perspective, brief report, general commentary style papers are all welcomed. A variety of pharmacoeconomic evaluations and health economics studies are within the Topic scope. Health policy considerations should be primarily focused on financing mechanisms and affordability of medicines and health care in general.
Neighbouring issues such as health insurance, reimbursement and cost-containment strategies, inequities in health care access might be considered. High quality innovative contributions from all relevant stakeholders including academia, industry, and regulatory authorities are welcomed.
Keywords: pharmacoeconomics, reimbursement, drugs, medicines, global, costs, pharmaceutical policy, orphan drugs, generic drugs, copycat medicines, pharmaceutical expenditure, Globalization
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