Health Policy

Policymakers suggest immediate action to tackle chronic diseases

Bristol-Myers Squibb India (BMSI), in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), organised a roundtable conference on ‘Developing Capacities to Tackle Chronic Diseases’ in New Delhi on November 14, on the occasion of World Diabetes Day. The conference was supported by India Health Progress (IHP), an initiative aligned at ensuring access of healthcare to all. The event was aimed at creating awareness about the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases, and the dire and immediate need to spread prevention awareness about these diseases.

The conference deliberated on exploring options to formulate special insurance policies for chronic diseases such as diabetes and ways to highlight the magnitude of diabetes as a chronic disease in India. In addition, the discussions clearly brought out the important role that will have to be essayed by insurance providers in terms of making drugs more affordable and accessible for patients. Other key aspects discussed included improving affordability of medicines through policies that help in cost reduction for management of chronic diseases, linking health insurance for promoting prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular, etc., and proposing a course for taking this initiative forward by formation of a forum or advisory group for recommending strategies for tackling chronic diseases.

Some of the key speakers included Dr Nandakumar Jairam, co-chairman, FICCI Health Services Committee; Pheroze Khan, Managing Director, BMSI; Aman Gupta, Principal Advisor, IHP; Keshav Desiraju, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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