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PharmAccess position paper on strengthening the role of the private sector

The European Commission (EC) is currently working on a new Communication on "Strengthening the Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries."

  • Mar 19, 2014

In response to a recent call for contributions on this subject, PharmAccess has submitted a position paper in which we argue that solid healthcare policies and social protection are an important pillar for inclusive development.

Call for contributions
In the past years, more and more major donors have started to display an increasing interest in economic growth when it comes to aid and development. This EC Communication, or action plan, shows that engaging and building the private sector in partner countries is a key part of the EC’s poverty eradication efforts and development strategy. As this is a relatively new approach in development policy, the EC is interested in industry feedback from a broad range of stakeholders. In order to facilitate this, the EC has published an Issue Paper. This paper provides detailed information on the intended purpose and scope of the Communication as well as specific questions and guidelines for input. The questions cover a wide range of policy areas and instruments, but submitted papers can choose to focus their attention on a selected number of issues that are most relevant to their field. Ultimately, the input will help establish priorities and provide a clearer picture from the perspective of industry stakeholders on the relevance, relative importance and completeness of issues to be addressed in the Communication. The paper provides an interesting preview of what may become EU policy in the field of private sector development. Brussels intends to adopt the new Communication in June.

Click here to read the European Commission’s Issue Paper.

Health care and the private sector
From the onset, PharmAccess has focused on the private sector, recognizing that in many developing countries, the public sector is unable to provide effective healthcare for all. As a result, more than 50% of the people turn to the private sector. Therefore, we believe that any policy that overlooks the private sector will be able to achieve only limited success when it comes to improvement of healthcare in developing countries.

We also noticed that health care does not play a significant role in the issue paper. In our view, health is more than a development issue. Health care is often approached from a medical and ethical point of view. However, as is the case in every industry, the healthcare system must reach some kind of long-term financial viability. The growing demand for quality health care in developing countries poses not only a challenge, but an opportunity at the same time. Already, the healthcare industry is the largest industry in the world, accounting for over 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) in high-income countries. The private sector can play an instrumental role in ensuring efficient use of resources for health care. Thus, we feel that health care should be a key component of any global private sector strategy.

Click here to read the PharmAccess Position Paper and find out more about our approach and recommendations.