October 5th, 2015
By Kris Sterkens, Company Group Chairman, Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, Asia Pacific
A new report from the Economist – The Shifting Landscape of Healthcare in Asia Pacific – confirms that people in our region are living longer, but not necessarily healthier, with overburdened, provider-led healthcare systems that lack comprehensive strategies to address emerging non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes and mental illness.
We provided a grant for the development of this independent research report, which examines whether current health policies in Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea are coping with the sharp rise of NCDs while these countries continue to tackle an existing burden of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and hepatitis.
There is a quote in the report by Professor Aikichi Iwamoto, chair of Japan’s National HIV Surveillance Committee, who notes that one difficulty in dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in much of Asia is that “health systems in many countries are more adjusted to acute infections where people are cured by antimicrobials in five days.”
This accurately captures the history of a region that has endured deadly emergency outbreaks of viruses and influenzas for more than a century, most recently with SARS and Avian Flu.