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With shifting disease burdens, growing populations, and rising expectations comes a greater focus on value for money. International health funders and agencies want to know how to make the most of money spent by focusing on the highest impact interventions among the most affected populations. Whether through better procurement systems for health commodities, results-based financing, or more detailed assessments of the effective ness of health technology, CGD’s work aims to make health funding go further to save, prolong and improve more lives.
Achieving better health in poor countries depends in part on giving companies that produce drugs, vaccines and diagnostics incentives to invest in their production by improving their ability to forecast which products will be purchased by whom in what quantities. This brief reviews the findings of CGD's Global Health Forecasting Working Group, which was convened in early 2006 to study the challenges surrounding demand forecasting, and offers recommendations for better forecasting, including the creation on an "infomediary" to mobilize, coordinate and disseminate information about product demand.
The success of global health programs largely depends on the availability of essential health products when and where they are needed. But weak links in the global health value chain are currently constraining on-the-ground access to drugs, vaccines and diagnostics--despite increased funding and ongoing scientific advances. Shortcomings in demand forecasting in particular have led to unnecessarily high prices, supply shortages, and reluctance to invest in R&D for developing country diseases.
This event marks the launch of a new report by the Global Health Forecasting Working Group, issuing key recommendations for donors to make strategic investments that would increase access to information and better align forecasting incentives, as well as suggestions for ways that donors could use innovative financing mechanisms to further reduce uncertainty and diversify and share risk in the supply chain. Their proposed improvements could have profound benefits for funders, suppliers and implementers in terms of both financial and health outcomes.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) was established very quickly in 2001 in response to a widespread perception that a rapid scale-up in financing was critical in the fight against the three diseases. Since it began operations in January 2002, GFATM has made important progress. It has raised substantial funding and become the world’s largest donor for TB and malaria. 70% of the programs reaching the two-year renewal stage are showing solid results. Rwanda, for example, has put over 4,000 people on ARV treatment, more than double its program target, and GFATM programs in aggregate have financed ARV treatment for 130,000 people to date.