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From Burden to “Best Buys”: Reducing the Economic Impact of Non-Communicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

From Burden to “Best Buys”: Reducing the Economic Impact of Non-Communicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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WHO Publication
WHO Publication

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Published by: ADB Health Sector Group on Mar 15, 2013
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From Burden to “Best Buys”:
Reducing the Economic Impact o Non-Communicable Diseasesin Low- and Middle-Income Countries
World Economic Forum
91-93 route de la CapiteCH-1223 Cologny/GenevaSwitzerland Tel.: +41 (0)22 869 1212Fax: +41 (0)22 786 2744E-mail: contact@weorum.orgwww.weorum.org© 2011 World Economic Forum All rights reserved. This material may be copied, photocopied, duplicated and sharedprovided that it is clearly attributed to the World Economic Forum. This material may not be used or commercial purposes.REF: 100811
World Health Organization
 Avenue Appia 201211 Geneva 27Switzerland Telephone: + 41 22 791 21 11Facsimile (ax): + 41 22 791 31 11Email: publications@who.intwww.who.int The content o this report stems rom the work published in twoseparate reports, one led by the World Economic Forum and theHarvard School o Public Health, and the other developed by theWorld Health Organization:
The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases
prepared by the World Economic Forum and the Harvard Schoolo Public Health (2011). Available through:http://www.weorum.org/EconomicsONCD
Scaling up action against noncommunicable diseases: How muchwill it cost?
– prepared by the World Health Organization (2011). Available through: http://www.who.int/nmh/publications This report with the overview rom these two recent papers doesnot represent an ocial position o the World Health Organization,the World Economic Forum or the Harvard School o PublicHealth. It is a tool to explore the views o interested parties on thesubject matter. The authors alone are responsible or the viewsexpressed in this overview and they do not necessarily representthe decisions, policy or views o the World Health Organization,the World Economic Forum or the Harvard School o PublicHealth. Reerences to international partners are suggestions onlyand do not constitute or imply any endorsement whatsoever o this overview.
 There is growing awareness and concern about the large and escalating burden o chronic, non-communicablediseases (NCDs) not just rom the public health perspective but also rom the economic one. The social burdensassociated with the our diseases that are the ocus o the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs – cardiovasculardisease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases – include prolonged disability, diminished resourceswithin amilies and reduced productivity, in addition to tremendous demands on health systems. This report addresses current inormation gaps in our understanding o how to mitigate these challenges byhighlighting recent ndings about the social costs o NCDs and the resource needs or managing these conditions.Specically, the report brings together ndings rom two new studies aimed at equipping decision-makers ingovernment, civil society and the private sector with key economic insights needed to help reduce the growingburden o NCDs:
 A global analysis o the economic impact o NCDs by the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School o Public Health
 An analysis o the costs o scaling up a core intervention package in low- and middle-income countries by theWorld Health Organization The economic consequences o NCDs are staggering. Under a “business as usual” scenario where interventioneorts remain static and rates o NCDs continue to increase as populations grow and age, cumulative economiclosses to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) rom the our diseases are estimated to surpass US$ 7trillion over the period 2011-2025 (an average o nearly US$ 500 billion per year). This yearly loss is equivalent toapproximately 4% o these countries’ current annual output. On a per-person basis, the annual losses amount toan average o US $25 in low-income countries, US$ 50 in lower middle-income countries and US$ 139 in uppermiddle-income countries.By contrast, ndings rom the second study by the WHO indicate that the price tag or scaled-up implementationo a core set o NCD “best buy” intervention strategies is comparatively low. Population-based measures orreducing tobacco and harmul alcohol use, as well as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, are estimated to costUS$ 2 billion per year or all LMICs – less than US$ 0.40 per person. Individual-based NCD “best buy” interventions– which range rom counselling and drug therapy or cardiovascular disease to measures to prevent cervical cancer– bring the total annual cost to US$ 11.4 billion. On a per-person basis, the annual investment ranges rom underUS$ 1 in low-income countries to US$ 3 in upper middle-income countries.In health terms, the return on this investment will be many millions o avoided premature deaths. In economicterms, the return will be many billions o dollars o additional output. For example, reducing the mortality rateor ischaemic heart disease and stroke by 10% would reduce economic losses in LMICs by an estimated US$25 billion per year, which is three times greater than the investment needed or the measures to achieve thesebenets.Policy-makers, members o civil society and business leaders all ace the issue o how best to respond to thechallenges posed by NCDs. This overview o two recent reports supplements existing knowledge by demonstratingnot only the economic harm done by NCDs but also the costs and benets related to addressing them.

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