One in seven clinical decisions taken in Latin America should be based on diagnostic tests, but lack of access avoids the efficient use of new technologies, a specialist told Efe.
During the ISPOR Latin America 2019 Congress, Karine Ferreira, an executive from Roche Latin America, said that "despite its importance, very little is invested in diagnostic tests and this prevents this type of technology from having a greater impact on people's health ".
He added that this type of tests is especially important because they provide patient information because they use biomarkers that help to know, for example, the degree of illness of a patient.
ISPOR is a congress that brings together executives and specialists in health economics and results research organized to discuss the health challenges that exist in Latin America.
Ferreira, director of Medical Access and Markets of Roche Latin America, said that diagnostic tests can avoid unnecessary hospitalizations "which in general are very expensive" but also help improve treatments because "you know how a medicine it will help a patient or not, "he said.
Unfortunately, he said, in regions such as Latin America there is still a greater impact on decision makers, who are still unaware of the benefits of these diagnoses for health systems.
"It is not a test that the patient can go to the pharmacy to buy, but as long as we inform the decision makers about the benefits, I think we can have a greater impact," he said.
He stressed, however, that in recent years it has been seen that there is a very large effort of all health payers in the countries of the region to make this type of technology available to the entire population.
However, there is the great challenge of "connecting the value of the benefits of the test with the money invested to obtain them," he said.
The expert highlighted the importance of having strategic partners that help improve access to this type of testing.
"If we work together we can make a difference, we have faith that we are all together in all this that is like an ecosystem," he said.
Diagnostic tests, he said, also have a benefit for patients, because it impacts their quality of life because if the severity of their condition is not high, it allows them to rejoin their daily lives with only one change of treatment.
Vania Cristina Canuto, a member of the Ministry of Health in Brazil, explained that in that country health decision making is linked to the incorporation of technology, which is always based on evidence.
And even, he said, the evaluation of these technologies has been weighted to incorporate them into the health system as soon as possible in order to benefit patients.
Adriana Robayo, a member of the Institute of Technological Evaluation in Health (IETS) of Colombia, said that in the country this body has been created that makes an evaluation based on diagnostic tests to know if a drug works or not.
He explained that with the rise of personalized medicine it is necessary to look at this type of technology "because it is not just money, it is to give value to patients."
Robayo said that this is the right time to understand and highlight the value of these tests, however, it is also necessary that countries and local health institutions be trained to exploit the benefits of these technologies.
"We must understand that this impacts not only the Ministries of Health, but also the public and private systems. In the end we all have the same objective: to guarantee the quality of life and make a sustainable health system," Karine Ferreira concluded.
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