Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Health Care in Developing Nations' Category

Gates: US Drug pricing system is ‘Better Than Most’

There has been a lot of criticism of drug prices in the U.S. One person not included the chorus of critics is Bill Gates. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said: “The current system is better than most other systems one can imagine,” Gates said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “The drug companies are […]

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Cancer rates in the developing world

NPR reports that the developing world that cancer rates are increasing in the developing world.  In fact: The majority of cancer cases — 57 percent — now occur in low- and middle-income countries. And 65 percent of cancer deaths worldwide occur in these countries, according to an analysis by the American Cancer Society. But there’s […]

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Pharmaceuticals in China

As China is now the second largest economy in the world, spending on medical services and medications is also growing. Pharmafile reports: China is positioned to become the second-largest pharmaceutical market, after the US, by next year, according to healthcare analysts IMS Health; meanwhile, by growing an estimated 15% to 18% annually, the organisation says […]

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Health Care Workers and Informal Payments

In many developing countries, making informal payments to health care workers is common.  Lewis (2000) estimates the frequency of informal payments in selected Asian and Central/Eastern European countries as: Armenia: 91%; Azerbaijan: 78%; Kyrgyz Republic: 75% Poland: 78%; Russia: 74% Vietnam: 81%; Do these payments work?  Would people be better off if these bribes were made […]

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Health Reform in China

What is health insurance like in China?  A 2011 paper by Zhong in Health Economics provides a nice overview, which I discuss in today’s post. Between the 1950s and the end of the 1970s, three primary insurance schemes covered almost all Chinese citizens. Cooperative Medical System (CMS).  This program existed in 90% of Chinese villages.  […]

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Good News in the Fight Against HIV

Almost one in five South Africans have HIV.  South Africa is the country with the most individuals living with HIV (5.6 million); it also has the most HIV deaths annually (310,000). Despite these grim facts, there is some good news.  The Economist reports: “Although the number of South Africans living with the disease continues to […]

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Effect of delayed reimbursement on utilization of medical services

A recent paper by Hai Zhong (2011) finds that health insurance that provides immediate reimbursement for health care services significantly increases the likelihood of patients seeking outpatient treatment in China compared to reimbursement beneficiaries with a delay. China isn’t the only country where insurance companies provide delayed reimbursement. In fact, in France patients pay the full cost […]

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Why did the people of Nigeria reject the polio vaccine?

From a letter in Health Affairs: In 1996 Pfizer came to Kano to administer a test of the drug Trovan for a meningitis outbreak. One hundred children were given Trovan, and another hundred were given chloramphenicol, a drug approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Of the 200 children, eleven died due to Trovan and […]

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Urinalysis in Nepal

In The Healing of America, T.R. Reid discusses some ‘interesting’ urinalysis techniques practiced by Dr. Tenzin in Nepal.   “When they do urinalysis up at Khunde [a Western-style clinic in Nepal], all the do is stick a slip of paper into a sample,” he said.  “But that can’t be enough.  I just don’t think it […]

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Paying poor people to get vaccinated

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become very popular among development economists.  This programs pay poor families to have their children attend school and/or get vaccinated.  Some of the larger programs include Bolsa Família in Brazil and Oportunidades in Mexico.   Should economists support CCTs that pay the poor to get vaccinated?  This depends on 2 factors: 1) […]

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