In Latin America, few have access to new health technologies

One in seven clinical decisions made in Latin America should be based on diagnostic tests, but lack of access prevents the efficient use of new health technologies.

In Latin America, few have access to new health technologies.
In Latin America, few have access to new health technologies.

During the ISPOR Congress Latin America 2019, Karine Ferreira, executive of Roche Latin America, said that despite its importance, very little is invested in diagnostic tests and this prevents this type of technology from having a greater impact on people's health.

This type of test is especially important because it provides patient information through the use of biomarkers that help know, for example, the degree of disease of a patient.

ISPOR is a congress that brings together executives and specialists in health economics and results from research organized to debate the health challenges that exist in Latin America.

Diagnostic tests can avoid unnecessary hospitalizations that are generally very expensive but also help to improve treatments because it is known how a drug will or will not help a patient.

Unfortunately, in regions such as Latin America, there is still a need to have a greater impact on decision-makers, who are still little aware of the benefits that these diagnoses have for health systems.

"It is not a test that the patient can go to the pharmacy to buy, but as long as we inform decision-makers about the benefits, I think we can have a greater impact," she said.

In recent years it has been seen that there is a great effort by all health payers in the countries of the region to make this type of technology available to the entire population. However, there is the great challenge of connecting the value of the benefits of the trial with the money invested to obtain them.

The importance of having strategic partners to help improve access to this type of testing.

"If we work together we can make a difference, we have faith that we are all together in all of this that is like an ecosystem," she said.

Diagnostic tests also have a benefit for patients, since it impacts on their quality of life because if the severity of their condition is not high, it allows them to return to their daily lives with only a change of treatment.

Vania Cristina Canuto, a member of the Ministry of Health in Brazil, explained that in that country health decision-making is linked to the incorporation of technology, which is always based on evidence. The evaluation of these technologies has even been considered in order to incorporate them into the health system as soon as possible in order to benefit patients.

Adriana Robayo, a member of Colombia's Institute for Technological Evaluation in Health (IETS), said that the country has created this agency that makes an evaluation based on diagnostic tests to know if a drug works or not. With the rise of personalized medicine, it is necessary to look at this type of technology because it is not only money, it is to give value to patients.

This is the opportune moment to understand and highlight the value of these tests, however, it is also necessary that countries and local health institutions are trained to exploit the benefits of these technologies.

"We must understand that this impacts not only the Ministries of Health, but also the public and private systems. In the end, we all have the same objective: to guarantee the quality of life and make a sustainable health system," concluded Karine Ferreira.

By Mexicanist Source Agencies

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