Chronic disease medical intervention models “need a complete rethink”: Global insurers

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Czech republic European union

Chronic disease medical intervention models “need a complete rethink”: Global insurers
Existing ‘pharmacological’ disease management models that have an ‘after the event’ focus are chronically failing to adequately deal with spiralling rates of chronic disease like obesity and diabetes – in both treatment and economic terms, a conference in Prague will hear today.

Other problems like malnutrition and under nutrition in the elderly are also being failed by existing medical models, where what is needed is “a complete rethink”​ to garner government support of programmes to encourage caregivers and industry to encourage disease management among European and global populations.

Speaking ahead of his presentation today at the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) symposium in the Czech Republic capital, Dr Jan van Emelen, the innovation director at the International Association of Health Insurance Funds, told NutraIngredients existing medical models were economically unsustainable.

He highlighted early detection of potential malnutrition and under nutrition in the elderly as a potential action point that could win the support of insurers, but government bodies needed to come to the party.

“We know the existing medical model is broken and there needs to be anew model for care and prevention of disease, including nutritional interventions,” ​Dr van Emelen said.

As insurers, we ask ourselves – what can we reimburse? What should we support. But there needs to be some validation of methods. That’s why we propose a European scientific board to evaluate nutritional and other interventions so they can be validated across Europe and don’t have to be performed on a national basis.”

“Entirely new solutions”

While not a nutritional intervention, he highlighted the example of renal failure detection, which was detected at-home in 45% of cases in Denmark, due to government support of home renal dialysis kits. In Belgium, where no such government support existed, the rate was only 8%.

Dr van Emelen said hope for change was being invested in the European Union Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, which had as an objective to develop, entirely new solutions to address the active and healthy ageing challenge”.

“The EU Framework needs to invest in organisational research so we can develop alternatives to the short-term pharmacological model,”​ he said. “We need to think outside the box but it is a slow process.”

For more about the ILSI event click here​.

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