Novel trading system could help fund global health

A novel global trading system based on the cost effectiveness of health interventions, similar to the market on carbon permits to help control climate change, could provide the extra funding needed to reach the health targets in the Millennium Development Goals, argue experts writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

The authors, led by Luis Carrasco from the National University of Singapore, propose an innovative global credit market based on a global cost-effectiveness criterion to run a cap and trade system where DALY credits (Disability Adjusted Life Years) are exchanged.

The authors believe that encouraging experiences from carbon permit markets show that resources can be efficiently raised to help manage global health. The authors argue: "If implemented, an analogous tradable DALY credits market would incentivise countries to scale-up their global health commitments to meet the health Millennium Development Goals."

Under such a system, the authors propose that countries would trade DALY credits, in which high and middle-income countries who wish to implement a health intervention that is cost effective at home but more than an agreed upon global cost-effectiveness threshold (three times the per capita gross national income that defines low-income countries) buy DALY credits from highly cost-effective in low-income countries. If a binding agreement, similar to the , were reached, this system would allow the necessary scaling-up of contributions to meet global health needs.

The authors have worked out that under this system, high-income and middle-income countries should contribute 74% and 26% respectively of the additional US$36–US$45 billion annually needed to meet the health targets of the Millennium Development Goals, such as reducing child deaths, reducing maternal deaths, and improving the management of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

According to the authors, using this system would change current contributions to global health, with some countries, especially the United States, China, Germany, and Japan, needing to substantially scale up their annual contributions, while a handful of others—Luxembourg, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK—already meet their required contributions.

Although many of the details of the system would need to be subject to political debate, the authors argue: "If the health are to be realised, collectively we should be ready to implement the most powerful strategies to manage global commons."

They conclude: "A DALY tradable credit market offers the potential to increase the efficiency of investments while, at the same time, promoting international obligations to the pursuit of an agreed global common good."

More information: PLoS Med 10(2): e1001392. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001392

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Framework convention on global health needed

May 11, 2011

In this week's PLoS Medicine, Lawrence Gostin from Georgetown University, Washington DC, and colleagues argue that a global health agreement—such as a Framework Convention on Global Health—is needed and would inform ...

Recommended for you

US seniors' health poorest, global survey shows

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)— Seniors in America have more chronic health problems and take more medications than seniors in 10 other industrialized countries do, according to a new global survey. The United States also ...

New survey of employers about the health insurance market

4 hours ago

A new nationally representative survey of employers—the largest purchasers of health care in the country— shows that most are unfamiliar with objective metrics of health plan quality information. The survey, conducted ...

Running really can keep you young, study says

7 hours ago

If you are an active senior who wants to stay younger, keep on running. A new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder and Humboldt State University shows that senior citizens who run several times ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.