By Raman Singh, CEO, Mundipharma
It’s a fact that societies need healthy populations to maintain a prosperous and flourishing economy. Data confirms that total health spending and government health spending are positively correlated to development – but health spending varies widely across regions, countries and within income brackets.
Estimates have shown that lower- and low-income markets need to increase private and public expenditure on health in general, and healthcare as a whole by $1-1.5 trillion in the next 15 years. A new approach to policy, partnerships and innovation is essential in order to ensure that those within these societies fulfil their potential and the potential of their economies.
A big part of this story is market access – reaching the right patient, at the right time and place – and how we can increase access to essential medicines and healthcare standards. One way of doing this is working with market regulators to increase access to new treatments that improve community wellbeing and touch the lives of those living in countries with healthcare systems that are less advanced than those in other parts of the world.
We also need to remain agile and respond quickly to patient needs and treatment gaps, in close collaboration with partners and governments. A few examples of this come to mind:
- We actively promote increased international research partnerships, collaboration on policy and R&D investment. This includes working closely with experienced regulatory policy and medical experts and the World Health Organization to develop and increase levels of understanding of relevant medications that improve quality of life and raise awareness of key health issues.
- We actively invent technology such as ‘breatherite’ – the first digital health platform to utilise augmented reality together with a range of smartphone sensors, delivering a personal asthma management solution with a focus on correcting errors in inhaler technique. The app engages the front-facing camera for facial mapping, the accelerometer and gyrometer to track inhaler preparation, the microphone to analyse inhalation and exhalation, along with augmented reality to visualise correct inhaler orientation and head alignment. It also enables patients to set medication reminders, receive lifestyle tips, real-time weather and air quality information.
- We recently partnered with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia on an integrated campaign to tackle potential outbreaks of respiratory infections such as MERS.
- We regularly partner with other healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies to address unmet patient needs safely and responsibly – this comes to life through our role in contributing to the war on cancer in Asia and beyond.
But these examples are just a scratch on the surface. Patient reach can be strengthened through understanding market-specific patient needs, creating shared value through successful partnering, identifying where there are challenges and working together to find solutions.