Opportunity in Asia-Pacific: A time of growth and development in health care

AdeleIn early September, more than 1,200 researchers, thought leaders and industry colleagues will gather in beautiful Singapore to discuss the status of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research in the Asia-Pacific region. The theme of the 7th ISPOR Asia-Pacific conference is Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research in Asia-Pacific: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Direction. This biennial conference has seen tremendous growth over past years, with the number of attendees growing by around one-third with each occurrence — a reflection of the rapid uptake of health technology assessment and evidence-based reimbursement systems across our region. Therefore it is timely to regroup and consider future directions, and the challenges we collectively face.

Whilst there are certainly challenges facing access to pharmaceuticals globally, the plenary sessions recognize the unique AsiaPac context. We have vast differences in historical, socio-economic, cultural and political backgrounds resulting in diverse health systems, and indeed, highly variable health outcomes across our populations. This is coupled with rapidly increasing educational levels and affluence, although considerable inequity exists. In addition, several Asian countries top the global charts for rapidly ageing populations — placing further stress upon health resources.

There is also enormous opportunity to ‘get it right.’ This time of growth and development across AsiaPac is coinciding with the availability of new health technologies, data availability and a growing consciousness of improving and increasing access to health care. The expectation for universal health coverage is high. It is time for health innovators, researchers and funders to deliver!

The Optum symposium during the conference, “Pricing Developments in the Asia Pacific — does comparator-referenced pricing have a future?” considers one of the practical challenges facing innovators and funders alike. Recent years have seen innovative approaches to pricing to ensure access to ground-breaking therapies — including in countries that use comparator-based pricing. These include confidential risk-sharing arrangements and managed entry schemes. The session explores resultant challenges and the future landscape from multiple perspectives, because challenges such as this can only be solved with a collaborative approach. We need to move beyond health economics theory to its practical application within a complex health and political landscape. In keeping with the mission of ISPOR, we need academic evidence; but we also need to put that evidence in context, applying it to specific problems, such as hospitals and patients.

This is what our clients, health care providers and the industry at large need from us. They need defensible but practical solutions that can be put to use — from real-world data analytics to innovative value-based pricing arrangements.

Thank you to ISPOR for another chance to connect and make stridesto a healthier future for all.

Adele Weston
Executive Vice President/Senior Scientist,
Health Economics & Outcomes Research
Asia Pacific, Optum Life Sciences

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