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China to set the bar high for new health technologies (BMJ)
November 6, 2018
By Tessa Richards
From the article:
How to reap the benefits of new technologies while keeping a tight rein on healthcare costs is a challenge all countries face, not least China. It spends a relatively modest 6.2% of GDP on health, but expenditure has been rising rapidly and is poised to soar further for its population of 1.39 billion is ageing and rates of non communicable disease increasing.
In response China has set up a new National Center for Medicine and Health Technology Assessment to inform decisions on which of the many new drugs, devices, and diagnostics coming on stream should be included in the country’s basket of care.
A reminder that countries’ health outcomes bear little relation to their health spend came from Kalipso Chalkidou, director of global health policy at the Center for Global Development. She also warned that “20 -40 % of expenditure on healthcare is wasted.” Countries must use health technology assessment as a policy tool to contain spending and drive more equitable care, she said. The evidence generated also helps negotiate prices and rules on reimbursement, and “China can lead the way here.”