Examining the Economic and Financial Case for Tackling NCDs

April 24, 2018 - 8:00am to 11:30am

NCDs such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are major drivers of poverty worldwide. Investing in the treatment and prevention of NCDs not only produces major health gains—particularly for the poorest in society—but also provides economic benefits.

This event spotlighted The Lancet's recently published NCD Economics Task Force Series, led by RTI's Rachel Nugent. The five Task Force articles outline a common agenda for ministries of health, ministries of finance, and other ministries to use economic tools for NCD prevention and control efforts to achieve progress on nine Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The series addresses how:

  • Poverty stems from and exacerbates the burden of NCDs
  • Price policies can be effective pro-poor tools to prevent NCDs
  • Out-of-pocket medical spending on NCDs causes financial hardship
  • Cardiovascular disease prevention and control has a high benefit-cost ratio

The event featured short presentations on the Task Force results by the Task Force experts, and recent NCD donor financing analysis by RTI. An international panel of distinguished NCD experts participated in a roundtable discussion, followed by audience Q&A.


Featured Conversation:

  • Dean Jamison, Professor, University of California-San Francisco
  • Rachel Nugent, Vice President, Global Noncommunicable Diseases, RTI International


  • Joseph Kofi Acquah, Economist, RTI International
  • Annalisa Belloni, Health Economist, formerly of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Beverly Essue, Senior Research Fellow and health economist, University of Sydney
  • Tracey Koehlmoos, Division Director and Associate Professor, HSA, Uniformed Services University
  • Tracey-Lea Laba, Senior Research Fellow, University of Sydney
  • Rachel Nugent, Vice President, Global Noncommunicable Diseases, RTI International


  • K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India
  • Thomas J. Bollyky, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Elizabeth Ohadi, Health Systems and Finance Specialist, RTI International
  • Osondu Ogbuoji, Senior Policy Associate, Duke Global Health Institute