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Access Today: Innovative Financing in NCD Care

Welcome to the April 2018 issue of Access Today, a monthly email newsletter from Access Accelerated with news and updates on the global fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).


This month, global dialogue brought to light several key gaps in financing NCD care. The Lancet Taskforce on NCDs and Economics recently released a series of five papers that demonstrate how poverty drives and is driven by NCDs, but concludes that:

  • Financial protection from high medical costs can break this cycle;
  • Price policies and taxation are effective means to reduce NCD risk factors, such as tobacco use and unhealthy diet, and can reduce inequalities; and
  • Investment in NCD control results in increased economic growth.

Similarly, Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance, published an op-ed in Devex urging players to go beyond traditional narratives of donors and recipients, to explore innovative financing models like social investment bonds, divestment and public-private partnerships:

“There must be emphasis on exploring new financing streams like these to develop and implement national NCD responses for SDG 3.4, including blended finance, public-private partnerships, pooled funding structures, and innovative financing mechanisms. And importantly, we need to showcase concrete examples of mechanisms to mobilize resources and increase financing for national NCD responses.”

This theme was further explored at the WHO Global Dialogue on Financing for Prevention and Control of NCDs in Copenhagen, Denmark on 9 – 11 April, where delegates from WHO Member States, development agencies, United Nations agencies, philanthropic organizations and the private sector met to discuss new ways to address the critical gap in financing for national NCD responses. More details on dialogue at the event can be found here.


The Access and Affordability Initiative (AAI) is an innovative financing program that focuses on differential, or tiered, pricing in which people pay according to their means. The initiative is comprised of four research-based biopharmaceutical companies – MSD, Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi – with commitments from governments and other stakeholders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In program pilot studies in Ghana and the Philippines, thousands of patients who face affordability barriers are provided with differentially discounted prices for medicines to treat NCDs. When the studies conclude, a team will measure the extent to which the approach is effective and sustainable, and companies will then decide whether to introduce differential pricing for NCD medicines on a wider scale in those countries or in other markets. Read more about the program here.


29 April – 2 May: Annual World Health Care Congress
Washington, D.C., USA
The 15th Annual World Health Care Congress convenes decision makers from payer, provider, pharmaceutical, government and solutions organizations to inspire partnerships and defragment the current healthcare system. Faculty share strategic initiatives, results and steps to overcome access and affordability issues while delivering high-value care. Learn more.
21-26 May: 71st World Health Assembly
Geneva, Switzerland
The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for WHO, meeting annually in Geneva in May with attendance from delegations from all 194 Member States. Learn more.
31 May: World No-Tobacco Day 
Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2018 is “Tobacco and heart disease.” Learn more.


Please contact us at with any questions and follow the conversation around industry actions to tackle NCDs on Twitter at @NCDAccess and on our website


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