Latest Documents

  • 18-November-2019


    The Supply of Medical Isotopes - An Economic Diagnosis and Possible Solutions

    This report explores the main reasons behind the unreliable supply of Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) in health-care systems and policy options to address the issue. Tc-99m is used in 85% of nuclear medicine diagnostic scans performed worldwide – around 30 million patient examinations every year. These scans allow diagnoses of diseases in many parts of the human body, including the skeleton, heart and circulatory system, and the brain. Medical isotopes are subject to radioactive decay and have to be delivered just-in-time through a complex supply chain. However, ageing production facilities and a lack of investment have made the supply of Tc-99m unreliable. This report analyses the use and substitutability of Tc-99m in health care, health-care provider payment mechanisms for scans, and the structure of the supply chain. It concludes that the main reasons for unreliable supply are that production is not economically viable and that the structure of the supply chain prevents producers from charging prices that reflect the full costs of production and supply.
  • 10-October-2019


    The Heavy Burden of Obesity - The Economics of Prevention

    Almost one in four people in OECD countries is currently obese. This epidemic has far-reaching consequences for individuals, society and the economy. Using microsimulation modelling, this book analyses the burden of obesity and overweight in 52 countries (including OECD, European Union and G20 countries), showing how overweight reduces life expectancy, increases healthcare costs, decreases workers' productivity and lowers GDP. The report makes the urgent economic case to scale up investments in policies to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle this growing global public health problem. The book evaluates a number of policies which could significantly improve health outcomes while being an excellent investment for countries.
  • 27-September-2019


    Health for Everyone? - Social Inequalities in Health and Health Systems

    Good health is a key component of people’s well-being. It is a value in itself but – through its influence on social, education and labour market outcomes – being in good or bad health has also wider implications on people’s chances of leading a fulfilling and productive life. Yet, even in the OECD countries, health inequality persists with severe consequences on the goal of promoting inclusive growth. This report documents a comprehensive range of inequalities in health and health systems to the detriment of disadvantaged population groups in a large set of OECD and EU countries. It assesses the gaps in health outcomes and risk factors between different socio-economic groups. When it comes to health systems, the report measures inequalities in health care utilisation, unmet needs and the affordability of health care services. For each of these different domains, the report identifies groups of countries that display higher, intermediate, and low levels of inequality. The report makes a strong case for addressing health-related inequalities as a key component of a policy strategy to promote inclusive growth and reduce social inequalities. It also provides a framework for more in-depth analyses on how to address these inequalities at country level.
  • 25-July-2019


    Recent Trends in International Migration of Doctors, Nurses and Medical Students

    This report describes recent trends in the international migration of doctors and nurses in OECD countries. Over the past decade, the number of doctors and nurses has increased in many OECD countries, and foreign-born and foreign-trained doctors and nurses have contributed to a significant extent. New in-depth analysis of the internationalisation of medical education shows that in some countries (e.g. Israel, Norway, Sweden and the United States) a large and growing number of foreign-trained doctors are people born in these countries who obtained their first medical degree abroad before coming back. The report includes four case studies on the internationalisation of medical education in Europe (France, Ireland, Poland and Romania) as well as a case study on the integration of foreign-trained doctors in Canada.
  • 23-juillet-2019


    La qualité des services de santé : Un impératif mondial en vue de la couverture santé universelle

    La couverture sanitaire universelle (CSU) vise à assurer la sécurité sanitaire et l'accès universel aux services de soins essentiels sans difficultés financières pour les individus, les familles et les communautés. La CSU permet une transition vers des sociétés et des économies plus productives et équitables et est inscrite dans les objectifs de développement durable (ODD) à l'horizon 2030. Mais la CSU ne devrait pas être mise en œuvre sans prendre en compte la qualité des soins fournis. Qualité signifie des soins efficaces, sûrs, centrés sur la personne, rapides, équitables, intégrés et efficients. Des soins de haute qualité améliorent les résultats pour la santé et réduisent le gaspillage. Cela fait partie intégrante d'un système de santé durable et de grande valeur. L’accès universel à des soins de santé de haute qualité n’est pas un luxe que seuls les pays riches peuvent se permettre. Cela peut être réalisé dans tous les contextes avec un leadership, une planification et une mise en œuvre solides. Les résultats valent l'investissement. Bien que des progrès significatifs aient été accomplis pour améliorer la qualité des soins, des efforts supplémentaires sont nécessaires, tant dans les pays en développement que dans les pays développés. Ce rapport décrit la situation actuelle en matière de CSU et de qualité globale des soins, et décrit les mesures que les gouvernements, les services de santé et leurs travailleurs, ainsi que les citoyens et les patients, doivent prendre de manière urgente.
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  • 26-June-2019


    Price Setting and Price Regulation in Health Care

    The objectives of this study are to describe experiences in price setting and how pricing has been used to attain better coverage, quality, financial protection, and health outcomes. It builds on newly commissioned case studies and lessons learned in calculating prices, negotiating with providers, and monitoring changes. Recognising that no single model is applicable to all settings, the study aimed to generate best practices and identify areas for future research, particularly in low- and middle-income settings. The report and the case studies were jointly developed by the OECD and the WHO Centre for Health Development in Kobe (Japan).
  • 11-June-2019



    Dementia is a devastating condition for the people affected, their family and friends, and for health systems. Through its global reach and ability to bring together government and non-government perspectives, OECD is in a unique position to face up to the challenge.

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  • 11-June-2019


    Addressing Problematic Opioid Use in OECD Countries

    Over the past few years, Canada and the United States have been experiencing an opioid crisis as a result of problematic opioid use fueled by the emergence of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil. Problematic opioid use is also spreading in other OECD countries, due to the upward trend of prescription opioid use and the complexities of the illegal drug supply. This report presents evidence on the magnitude of problematic opioid use across OECD countries, describes the main drivers, and identifies a set of policy actions to address them. The report highlights the opioid crisis as a complex public health issue that requires a comprehensive approach across all sectors, including health, social services, and law enforcement. Strong health information systems are also needed, particularly data and research. Preventing problematic opioid use requires a combination of policies that ensure more information is provided to patients and health care practitioners, while providing access to appropriate pain management treatment for patients. A public health approach to problematic opioid use must incorporate socio-economic considerations (e.g. employment and housing), which also need to be addressed to prevent problematic substance use in general.
  • 17-May-2019


    G7 Health Ministerial meetings

    The OECD is actively involved in the G7 Health Ministers meetings. This page reviews the issues discussed as well as the reports prepared by the OECD to inform those meetings.

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  • 16-May-2019



    Opioids use has dramatically increased in some OECD countries, both of prescribed and illicit opioids. This has led to a sharp upsurge in addiction and overdose deaths, with serious social and economic consequences. The OECD is analysing the opioids epidemic and exploring several policy strategies that can help countries to address the issue.

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