Addressing affordability to improve access to healthcare

The WHO hasrequiring access to timely, acceptable and affordable healthcare and providing for the underlying determinants of health, including safe drinking water, sanitation, food, housing and health education.

To make access to healthcare affordable and protect patients from financial burden, both the private and public sector share the responsibility to work together to build resilient and sustainable healthcare systems. To support our stakeholders, we are building partnerships for tailored solutions that are key to improving access, particularly affordability. We are developing new approaches to how we price our medicines and we are working with governments that are keen to invest in strong and resilient healthcare systems. As a result, we are seeing improved access around the world: almost 4 million people were treated with Roche's core and established products in low and lower- and middle- income countries between 2017 and 2021 In 2021, we also implemented pandemic pricing strategies for our COVID-19 medicines and expanded our Diagnostic Global Access Programme to include SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing for improved access in low and lower middle income countries.

The value of healthcare goes beyond the patient

We believe healthcare spending is an investment. Accurately diagnosing and treating the right patient at the right time with an innovative medicine can bring tangible benefits beyond the individual and have a positive impact on society as a whole. The value of innovations has many components such as disease prevention through screening or early diagnosis, as well as enabling people to go back to work and care for their families thanks to targeted treatment solutions and improved compliance. That's why we continue to drive innovation, so that our tests and medicines can make an even bigger difference to more people.

Causes of lack of healthcare affordability

Each country assesses the value of healthcare in different ways and has different priorities based on the local situation. Relevant factors include its overall wealth (and health), the stability of its economy, the distribution of funds to healthcare, the existence of a national health system and how it is set up, including any local Health Technology Assessment organisations, the level of personal health insurance in the country and the average income and available means of its citizens. There are many countries where funding levels for several or all of these elements are inadequate.

What are we doing

For over 10 years, we have worked with public and private partners to identify and solve gaps in healthcare financing. Our aim is to find tailored solutions that are sustainable for patients, governments and payers as well as for our business by enabling us to continue to invest in vital innovation.

Roche hasand dissemination of knowledge to contribute with practical solutions to the real problem faced in many countries: insufficient funding for high-cost therapies. By partnering with traditional and non-traditional stakeholders such as governments, banks, telecommunications, insurance and data start-ups we are creating funding solutions in countries where public coverage may still be inadequate to help improve patients’ financial protection and increase health system sustainability.

We are responding to the need for tailored pricing approaches by offering a number of pricing models that are designed to address payers’ needs and concerns around affordability, benefit and impact, such as performance and finance-based agreements. Our pricing strategy reflects the World Health Organization’s definition of “Fair Pricing”, balancing the need for both affordability and incentives for innovation.

One of the ways that we believe we can help address affordability and access challenges in low and lower-middle income countries is through our newly strengthened International Differential Pricing (IDP) approach. This differential pricing approach allows our local organisations to adjust prices to reflect a country’s relative income and their ability to pay, ensuring that our innovations are fairly priced and therefore reach patients in need.

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