Following the 2011 United Nations summit on non-communicable diseases, WHO adopted several targets for action, with the ultimate aim of reducing non-communicable disease mortality by 25% by 2025. One goal, also emphasized by the World Heart Federation, is for at least 50% of eligible people to receive recommended drug therapy and counseling to prevent heart attacks and strokes. However, there are as yet no global estimates on the size of this target population (which is considerably greater than the number of currently symptomatic people) or current levels of treatment. In the first part of this talk, initial estimates will be presented on basic coverage rates (i.e., need and use). These estimates suggest that all countries, including the US, are currently some distance from the 50% treatment coverage goal. As well as need and use, options for assessing quality, the third component of effective coverage, will also be discussed. The second part of the talk will review challenges and opportunities for low-cost combination products containing aspirin, statins, and blood pressure-lowering drugs (“polypills”) to help reduce these gaps in treatment coverage.
Anthony Rodgers is Professor of Global Health at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney. He has more than 20 years of experience in clinical trials, public-private partnerships, and innovation. Professor Rodgers helped initiate and run several landmark trials in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. He also helped start the Asia-Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration, involving more than 50 studies and 600,000 participants, which assessed the determinants of cardiovascular disease in the region. Professor Rodgers initiated a public-private partnership with a leading generics manufacturer and a consortium of cardiovascular clinical trials groups to develop and test four-in-one cardiovascular combination pills (“polypills”). An international clinical trial program involving 3,500 patients has received funding from organizations such as the Wellcome Trust, the European Union, and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. He also developed the first mHealth smoking cessation program, with over 6,000 patients in clinical trials. This service has been rolled out by Departments of Health in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. He was the principal author of the 2002 World Health Report, the main annual publication of the World Health Organization, entitled “Reducing risks, promoting healthy life.” Professor Rodgers graduated in medicine in the UK and trained in epidemiology and public health in New Zealand.