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The Patient's Voice on More than 200 Health Conditions

by Michael Fronstin | Oct 9, 2017

As the U.S healthcare debate has settled down – for now! – many challenges remain on how the United States will ultimately combat rising costs while still providing quality, affordable care to millions of people. A bi-partisan approach will undoubtedly offer the best solutions, but the makeup of those eventual solutions are still very much in play.

Kantar Health's 2017 edition of The Global Health and Wellness Report (GHWR), a comprehensive, patient-centric examination of the most pressing global health issues, offers some eye-popping data about the state of U.S. healthcare.

  • An astonishing 62.5 percent of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with a condition that could be termed "preexisting" for future health services.
  • Healthcare spending and longevity do not go hand in hand, as the United States ranks first in healthcare spending but seventh in longevity.
  • To combat the sometimes high-costs of treatment, 41 percent of U.S. adults diagnosed with a pre-existing condition report using a cost savings strategy – such as cutting tablets in half, taking less medicine than prescribed, buying fewer pills or buying them less often than directed – to offset the costs of prescription medicines.

The report also confirms that the United States has the largest obese population at 31.5 percent of adults, which is certainly a key factor for the United States having the highest rates of metabolic diseases such as high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, thyroid condition, and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Finally, the United States has the highest level of strong opioid use, which has led to significant and growing addiction issues, including injecting opioids.

Besides the United States, the GHWR delivers incomparable patient insights across nine other countries, including Japan; the EU5 of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom; and the Emerging Markets of Brazil, China and Russia. What's especially unique about the GHWR is that it represents the patient's voice and offers an unfettered, patient-centric view of the true impact of approximately 200 health conditions and thousands of sub-segments.

In Europe, the GHWR finds that the EU5 is currently facing a variety of challenges given socialized medicine and its impact on the healthcare environment. As access and reimbursement remain a consistent focus for Health Technology Assessments (HTAs), payers and governments across Europe, the unintended consequence is an incremental burden placed on manufacturers and patients. While in Japan, although there are many similarities with the EU5, the largest difference is that Japan is transitioning to a full scale HTA and requiring effectiveness and economic information. Additionally, like the EU5, Japan is experiencing an aging population and an increase in national healthcare costs as a percentage of GDP. Finally, The Emerging Markets have their own challenges related to access and reimbursement. Quantifying the magnitude of disease within major cities versus rural areas remains a challenge, and access to quality healthcare is limited to various parts of Emerging Market countries and not equally based on social economic status.

The GHWR provides unique value in understanding the magnitude of diseases and the impact on people living with them, both within and across countries. Undoubtedly there are areas to improve across the 10 countries evaluated, as levels of diagnosis remain low in some countries, untreated populations are high in others, and societal stigmas are preventing many sufferers from seeking medical care. However, these factors present opportunities to drive awareness in these undiagnosed and/or untreated populations – such as encouraging patients who are experiencing conditions to seek treatment and educating physicians about the unintended humanistic and economic consequences of not diagnosing or treating appropriately.

While healthcare stakeholders value different aspects of health-related outcomes, the GHWR takes this into account so that each stakeholder will find unique value in this report. And, in the end, information and value will drive progress and ultimately improve patient care.

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