Non-Communicable Diseases - A Growing Global Health Challenge

Non-Communicable Diseases - A Growing Global Health Challenge

09.20.11 | By

Non-communicable disease (NCDs) "are what the human body will encounter if it lives long enough." Though the interesting and alarming story in this morning's Washington Post about NCDs doesn't say so, that may be some good news. The story details the global growth of NCDs as a result of life-style, dietary and other changes, including longer life spans. Longer life spans do represent progress, especially in parts of the developing world.
But, of course, as the story points out, NCDs represent a new and costly threat to world health in both the developed and developing world. The biopharmaceutical research industry, in particular, is concerned by the growing global burden of NCDs. In fact, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) just yesterday released a new report by the RAND Corp. on improving access to medicines for non-communicable diseases in the developing world.
The Rand report looks at both challenges and better ways to provide access to needed medicines to help fight NCDs in developing world healthcare systems.
Certainly more can and should be done both to better prevent onset of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, but also to improve treatment options for patients suffering from NCDs. As the Post story points out, NCDs are increasingly "seen as a threat to prosperity." Preventing NCDs, limiting their impact and finding better ways to limit the costs to patients and healthcare systems must be a global health priority.

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