Third International Conference for Improving Use of Medicines, ICIUM2011
Medicines play a key role in the health of populations. Used appropriately, they save lives, decrease or cure morbidity, and improve quality of life. Medicines are one of the most cost-effective uses of scarce health care resources. However, at least 2.5 billion people in low and middle income countries (LMIC) cannot reap their benefits.
Most medicines in LMIC are paid out-of-pocket, which can increase household economic burden and impoverishment, thus making affordable access to essential medicines a key goal for successful risk protection strategies. Indeed, risk protection mechanisms that do not cover medicines have limited effectiveness in preventing household impoverishment due to health care expenditures. Universal health coverage (UHC) that includes sound medicines benefits has great potential to reduce economic burden and improve health in countries.
ICIUM2011 will bring together a select group of about 500 experts on medicines issues from about 100 countries who will (a) build an international consensus on effective state-of-the-art interventions to improve medicines access and use; and (b) define a new global research agenda on improving medicines access and use that is relevant to current conditions and unfolding developments in international health.
The role of medicines in universal health coverage programs will be a topic highlighted at the conference. More than 170 abstracts of studies on medicines financing and coverage from 49 countries have been accepted following peer-review and will form the basis for discussions in the Economics, Financing, and Insurance Track program of the conference. Topics to be addressed include: Medicines prices, pricing strategies, price measurement; procurement efficiency; payment policy effects; insurance and access; affordability of medicines; and financing policies to improve health care quality. Among other relevant sessions, a plenary presentation will discuss the challenges and opportunities of covering medicines in UHC programs and a special session on assessment, pricing, and reimbursement of new medicines will be offered.
ICIUM2011 will provide opportunities for health system financing and medicines experts from countries in the process of implementing UHC to discuss with researchers, national and international policy makers, health system managers, clinicians, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, and others the current scientific evidence on medicines financing; consider practical approaches in UHC programs to improve medicines access and use; and to shape the research agenda on medicines benefits in UHC programs, to be implemented following ICIUM2011.
Please visit the ICIUM2011 website to register for the limited-attendance conference.