“Market access” continues to be a subject of much discussion among the industry. Across the globe, we see governments scrambling to implement increasingly sophisticated cost-control measures to manage the expanding health demands of their population. Despite its booming economy and appetite for growth, China too faces the challenge of creating sustainable healthcare and access to medicines for its population – not an easy task with a population of over 1.3 billion people spread across diverse geographies with massive disparities in access to care.
The Chinese government will invest $125 billion over the next three years to expand access to care – making “access” a central aim. Key focus areas for this reform include the Basic Medical Insurance System, National Essential Drugs List, public hospital reform, establishing primary care provision and improving basic healthcare through developing clear care pathways. As a dynamic and rapidly evolving market, China is keen to learn from others and has been working with the UK’s NICE to look at techniques for health technology assessment and development of clinical guidelines. There is a huge opportunity for industry to collaborate with the increasing pool of Chinese healthcare stakeholders to help shape clear care pathways and enable faster access to services.
An essential element of improving access to care will be to provide patients access to trusted information. Such efforts to empower patients to improve self-management and encourage appropriate use of health services will represent a paradigm shift in the traditional availability of information and approach to patient care in China.
Our approach as leaders in “access” communications will continue across China. Bringing key learnings from other markets, we will help to educate and shape access strategies, working with our clients to effectively engage with their stakeholders and deliver smart, relevant and effective programs. Most importantly, our work will bring together stakeholders to achieve the mutually beneficial goal of enabling more patients to receive access to the right care.
Today is not just about “market access,” such as pricing and reimbursement, it is about how we can work together to facilitate “access” to services, “access” to medicines and importantly “access” to valuable information and education.