Industry leaders lay out solutions to better protect global health systems


  • Achieving sustainable health care and providing equitable health services worldwide is a growing concern.
  • The disruption of essential health services during the pandemic led to a drop in vaccination coverage and increased deaths from tuberculosis and malaria for the first time in a decade, according to UN reports.
  • Three industry leaders addressing the daunting challenge of sustainable healthcare talk about making a difference in practice.
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How can we ensure a healthy life for all people of all ages and promote their well-being?

Achieving sustainable healthcare and providing equitable healthcare services worldwide is a growing concern, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, which the United Nations says is “threatening decades of progress.”

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The disruption to essential health services during the pandemic led to a fall in vaccination coverage and increased deaths from tuberculosis and malaria for the first time in a decade.

With ongoing global disruption, the healthcare industry faces additional challenges as monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency and polio has reemerged in parts of the UK and US.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic threatens decades of advances in global health.  Image: UN

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic threatens decades of advances in global health. Image: UN

Image: UN

The role of climate change is exacerbating the situation for more than half of human diseases caused by pathogens, according to a recent study published in Nature Climate Change.

The paper found that diseases such as Zika, malaria, dengue, chikungunya and even Covid-19 have been exacerbated by climate impacts such as heat waves, wildfires, extreme rainfall and flooding.

With that in mind, we asked three industry leaders how they are addressing this daunting challenge and what initiatives they support to make health more sustainable locally.

Here are their answers.

“Partnership for long-term sustainability”
Christophe Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Takeda Pharmaceutical

At Takeda, we see value-based healthcare as the framework for building more sustainable healthcare systems. The values-based approach can transform healthcare systems by putting patients first and allocating resources to the most valuable care.

For value-based healthcare to work, we need to consistently measure health outcomes, ie whether or not each patient actually gets better after treatment. This data allows us to determine which treatments work best in the real world and which resources should have the greatest health benefits for society.

The successful transition to a values-based system will not be easy; a lot of work has to be done together.

“The values-based approach can transform healthcare systems by putting patients first and allocating resources to the most valuable care.”

—Christophe Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Takeda Pharmaceutical

Takeda co-founded a public-private partnership called Health Outcome Observatories (H2O) to collect outcome data — self-reported, owned, and controlled by patients — into independent, not-for-profit data observatories. From the observatories, outcome data can be shared with healthcare systems and for other purposes, based on patients’ preferences.

H2O’s vision is to help make value-based healthcare a reality by unveiling the best treatments for patients and healthcare systems. With patient-reported outcomes at the center, it really should be possible to make healthcare systems more sustainable now and in the future.

“Partnerships to build resilient and sustainable health systems”
Stefan Weber, Global Head of Policy, AstraZeneca

The pandemic has exacerbated long-standing cracks in our healthcare systems and highlighted the need to act decisively to ensure they withstand future crises.

Established in 2020 by the London School of Economics (LSE), the World Economic Forum and AstraZeneca and now active in more than 20 countries, the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) is a strong example of collective action towards this goal . Through its partners in these countries, PHSSR is building global knowledge on how to build more resilient health systems in a post-COVID-19 world and is a catalyst for action where it is most needed.

From new models of care to innovative financing mechanisms and ways to leverage breakthrough technologies, PHSSR brings together public and private sector organizations to identify transferrable solutions and support their adoption to achieve better health for all.

Research results and descriptions of change projects are available worldwide and will be discussed at the virtual 2022 PHSSR Global Summit on November 22-23. We look forward to joining the global health community on this occasion in our quest to build stronger health systems together.

“Holistic End-to-End Approach to Equitable Access”
Lutz Hegemann, President, Global Health & Sustainability, Novartis

Novartis has a compelling vision for the future of global health – where access to medicines truly becomes possible worldwide, no matter where you live or were born.

What is needed is a holistic, end-to-end approach that embraces the many complexities and barriers to entry.

Equal Access is about reinventing medicine through a sustainable ecosystem and going beyond philanthropy to make global health an integral part of every core business mandate. It is about forging public-private partnerships that address unmet needs and build the capacity of national health systems.

These principles are the cornerstones of our work, including the Novartis sickle cell disease program in sub-Saharan Africa – an industry-leading blueprint for future engagement in global health.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a life-threatening condition with chronic debilitating manifestations. It is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a public health priority in sub-Saharan Africa, where 80% of babies worldwide are born with SCD.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Novartis is delivering an industry-leading blueprint for future engagement in global health with its sickle cell disease program.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Novartis is delivering an industry-leading blueprint for future engagement in global health with its sickle cell disease program.

Image: Novartis

First unveiled at the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meetings, Novartis has since developed collaborations with governments, advocacy groups, professional societies and other organizations in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Angola to jointly address SCD from start to finish.

The program includes working with local partners to provide newborn screening, diagnosis, treatment and training for healthcare workers. Highlights include working with the Government of Ghana to reimburse the current standard of care and introducing a child-friendly formulation for wider access.

Patients and communities deserve sustainable care that is accessible.

Together we can help ensure healthcare systems are ready to make the most of innovation to benefit patient populations around the world.



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