Five Trends Impacting Global Health in 2018

by Michael Fronstin | Sep 24, 2018

In order to improve global healthcare, we need to listen to the voice of the patient on the true impact of the diseases and conditions affecting them. While this thinking may fall right in line with today's focus on patient centricity, the truth is that Kantar Health has always turned to the patient for the most accurate picture of global healthcare across countries and geographies.

Today, Kantar Health's Global Health and Wellness Report remains the world's most comprehensive, patient-centric examination of global healthcare – providing unique insights on the most pressing health challenges facing the United States, the EU5, Japan, and the key healthcare growth markets of China, Brazil and Russia. For two decades, this research has delivered to global healthcare stakeholders the granular information they need to positively affect change.

The 2018 edition of our Global Health and Wellness Report, which now covers more than 3 million patient survey responses on the true impact of approximately 200 health conditions and thousands of sub-segments, reveals some eye-popping statistics, including:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. patients report not filling a prescription due to cost.
  • Chinese prescription drug use dramatically fell between 2009 and 2017 in favor of cost-saving traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Opioid use increased in 27 U.S. states from 2011 to 2017.
  • Rates of U.S. adults contemplating suicide has dramatically risen from 2011 to 2017.
  • The U.K. and U.S. rank highest in adults reporting depression.
  • Mental illness in China and Japan is not discussed openly due to strong social stigmas.

These are alarming findings and our research indicates that they fall within five pillars around which the most impactful issues affecting global health and wellness appear to be coalescing today.

  • Affordability – Affordability continues to be a globally dominant issue as governments and private payers are challenged to provide patients appropriate access to effective treatments while balancing the costs of those therapies.
  • Pain – While prescription opioid use has fallen in the U.S., EU and Japan, the problem of abuse and addiction remains critical, especially in the U.S.
  • Mental Health – Given the recent high-profile suicides of Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and singers Avicii and Kim Jonghyun, we found that there’s been a renewed focus on mental health globally.
  • Health Tech – Innovations in mHealth, voice technologies, devices and apps are creating significant opportunities and implications for consumers and companies.
  • Growth Markets – A number of emerging market countries are now transitioning into significant healthcare growth markets, and this presents significant opportunities for companies wanting to grow their brands and launch new products.

These are just some of the key findings in the 335 pages of the 2018 Global Health and Wellness Report. I encourage you to see how this report can benefit your organization by downloading the full report here.

Over the 20-year history of our National Health and Wellness Survey – the driver of the Global Health and Wellness Report and the largest general population study based on primary research – patients, employers and payers, as well as key industry stakeholders such as healthcare companies, patient advocacy groups and governmental agencies, have found great value in the scope and depth of our research. Our Global Health and Wellness Report and National Health and Wellness Survey provide a better understanding of the magnitude of diseases and deliver the real world evidence needed to improve health-related outcomes around the world.

For more information, please feel free to reach out to me at michael.fronstin@kantarhealth.com

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