Health policy

Health policy is the set of decisions and plans, developed by governmental or nongovernmental agencies, designed to promote specific health-care objectives. Policies can be directed at individuals, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, or health-care systems. Examples include tobacco control policies and those designed to promote equal opportunites to access care.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    Current public health measures catalyzed a large shift to virtual care, resulting in a great uptake in telephone and video-enabled care. While pre-pandemic public healthcare funding rarely covered the telephone as a reimbursable care delivery model, it has proven a crucial offering for many populations. As the new standard of virtual service delivery is being solidified, simple technological solutions that provide access to care must continue to be supported. This paper explores an important consequence of relying on complex technologies as the new standard of virtual care: the risk of exacerbating health disparities by enabling a deeper digital divide for marginalized populations.

    • Tyla Thomas-Jacques
    • , Trevor Jamieson
    •  & James Shaw
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Clinical trials often enrol homogeneous populations that do not accurately represent the patient populations served. However, diverse research participation is necessary to establish fair standards of care, minimize outcome disparities and achieve social equity. Here, the authors discuss reasons for reduced trial participation and provide a framework for increasing diversity in clinical trials.

    • Ashwarya Sharma
    •  & Latha Palaniappan
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Legislators in the USA have been discussing reforms to reduce the high cost of brand-name drugs, which are much higher in the USA than in other industrialized countries. One solution is to actively negotiate prices based on drugs’ clinical benefits. We discuss two important complexities from such an approach: drugs that have been approved for multiple indications and as part of a combination regimen.

    • Kerstin N. Vokinger
    •  & Aaron S. Kesselheim
  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    Measuring and monitoring non-pharmaceutical interventions is important yet challenging due to the need to clearly define and encode non-pharmaceutical interventions, to collect geographically and socially representative data, and to accurately document the timing at which interventions are initiated and changed. These challenges highlight the importance of integrating and triangulating across multiple databases and the need to expand and fund the mandate for public health organizations to track interventions systematically.

    • Yannan Shen
    • , Guido Powell
    •  & David L. Buckeridge