About this Research Topic
Universal health coverage (UHC) is one of the core Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strategic agenda. Surprisingly, even as we approach the year 2020, achieving UHC to a reasonable extent and protecting the most vulnerable segments of native populations remains a challenge even for the richest of nations.
In recent years, traditional world health sector establishments assumed that most of the market demand for drugs, medical technologies, and services took place in rich Western societies, including Japan. Most of the market supply in terms of innovation and technology production led by multinational businesses, such as Big Pharma companies, also took place in these nations. Back in 2000, WHO estimates on national health systems worldwide ranked the top ten systems, seven of which were European and only three were Asian (Japan, Oman, and Singapore). Due to urbanization on a mega scale, however, there is also growth in living standards, affordability of medical care, and medicines taking place throughout rapidly developing regions (primarily the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), Southern and Eastern Asia). In November 2018, a public announcement by the Chancellor of Germany, the largest EU economy, emphasized that most of the essential innovation in this area is now taking place either in North America or Far East Asia, by far surpassing the European Union. All of these changes reflect heavily on market demand for drugs, medicinal devices, services, and long-term care worldwide.
Until the early 2000s, the global pharmaceutical market was still heavily dominated by the USA, representing approximately 4% share of global population and almost 50% consumption of brand-name medicines expressed in value-based turn over. Japan was ranked second in the same terms, preserving this position for a very long time. Contemporary pace of pharmaceutical innovation remains to be dominated by Western, Japanese, and Israeli based multinationals. On another side, demand is exploding among emerging economies and all major investors are aware that the lion’s share of growth opportunities as we approach 2050 will take place in these emerging economies, outside of mature high-income Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member nations. Emerging markets, such as the BRIC nations or EM7 (BRIC + Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey), remain the core focus of foreign capital investment in the long-term strategies and forecasts.
This Research Topic was created in order to address the core challenges of the UHC provision in the rapidly developing world regions. All of the evolving dynamics in the international medical technology arena will play a big role in creating feasible long-term UHC strategies. Papers submitted to this Research Topic may wish to explore some of these aforementioned and surrounding policy issues across geographic regions and jurisdictions. Contributions of original research, reviews as well as perspective / opinion style papers are welcomed. Submitted manuscripts should at least partially focus on issues relevant to health care economics among lower and middle-income nations or make translational comparisons involving some of these nations.
In addition to a variety of health-economic evaluations and health policy analysis, we also welcome methodological and resource use studies. Health policy considerations relevant to financing mechanisms and health expenditures are welcome, while surrounding issues such as health insurance, reimbursement, and cost-containment strategies will be considered as well. Submissions from academia, industry, and regulatory authorities are strongly encouraged.
Keywords: universal health coverage, health insurance, health expenditure, health care cost, medical care, brics, lmics