Investing in Healthcare: It Is Simply the Smart Thing to Do
At Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are committed to advancing global healthcare. Improving lives through the development of breakthrough medical innovations and patient-centered solutions is at the heart of everything we do. Our innovative spirit and Our Credo challenge us to think differently in all aspects of our work – from science to access and policy – to enhance the health outcomes of those we serve worldwide.
As a global community, now is the time to think – and act – differently if we are to make lasting change in people’s lives.
Health is the life-spring of a nation. In 2001, the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health noted that the collective health of a nation is a key determinant of future economic development. In short, it takes a healthy population to build and sustain a strong society. Investment in healthcare is not simply associated with better health outcomes; it also safeguards the sustainability of the development process as a whole through market growth, job creation, and greater productivity. Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, has called the health sector “a producer of economic gains. And it produces the most gains when health systems operate with top efficiency.”[i]
The G20 should seize this occasion to create lasting impact. Efforts need to impact a nation’s health in the immediate future and drive economic resilience in the long term. This includes widening the spectrum of healthcare stakeholders involved in decision-making and shifting healthcare models to focus on comprehensive preventative programs that are sustainable and affordable.
Investing in healthcare is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. To realize the G20 goal of increasing world economic growth by two percent over five years,[ii] Member States must recommit to investing in healthcare – early and vigorously – to boost economic prosperity of all countries. Addressing health system challenges and opportunities will require new approaches that encourage stakeholders to challenge the status quo and improve the health of even the hardest-to-reach populations.
The global community has witnessed society-wide benefits from strategic investment in health systems. For example, Haiti and Rwanda, two countries with long histories of underdevelopment, are on the path towards generating far-reaching positive impacts. Following the 2010 earthquake, early investments in Haiti’s health infrastructure are beginning to show strong results. Rwanda, likewise, has sought to strengthen healthcare delivery, particularly in rural areas. Through public-private partnerships, these countries have invested in training healthcare professionals and building healthcare centers– investments which are beginning to serve as an “engine of economic development.”[iii]
Janssen recognizes the importance of thinking beyond convention to cultivate the best outcomes for people, communities, and national economies. Today, we are expanding our contribution to global public health beyond research and development (R&D), and broadly investing in health systems around the world. For example, Janssen has invested in disease-centric integrated care pilots in the United Kingdom and Germany that utilize ongoing support tools and consistent capacity building to address schizophrenia – a disease that affects a small population but has an enormous economic burden. In China, we are developing sustainable ways to deliver our anti-tuberculosis medicine cost-effectively to patients through novel access approaches and care coordination.
Our new Janssen Global Public Health group is working to create sustainable, long-term solutions based on country ownership and accountability in healthcare. Through collaboration and stakeholder engagement, we are working to bolster local capacity in health-related domains to enhance the quality of and access to our medical innovations. We are supporting medical education training and disease management programs that integrate comprehensive health solutions into local health system infrastructure. We are also embarking on our New Horizons Advancing Pediatric HIV Treatment initiative in sub-Saharan Africa, directed at getting appropriate HIV treatments into the hands of the small but growing population of children who are experiencing HIV treatment failure. Working with partners in the field, we aim to both enhance access to medicines for children living with HIV and build on-the-ground action around this important issue. A healthier, more productive population in Africa as a result of HIV/AIDS alleviation will expand local opportunities and prompt broader economic growth for the continent and the world.
We understand that making sustainable investments in healthcare can bring priceless returns, both in terms of economic growth and for human prosperity. By approaching problems through creative and strategic channels, we know that the collective efforts of our company and our partners can demonstrate that standards of health can rise globally and barriers to economic development can be overcome.
[ii] Kaye, Byron. “Global business leaders put trade, infrastructure proposals to G20.” Reuters. July 18 2014. Web. Accessed July 25 2014. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/18/g20-business-idUSL4N0PT1J020140718
[iii] Chang, Stephanie. “Investing in Haiti: The Economic Impact of University Hospital.” Partners in Health. January 12 2014. Web. Accessed July 25 2014. http://www.pih.org/blog/investing-in-haiti-the-economic-impact-of-university-hospital