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Investments In Health R&D, Tax Revenues Important For G20 Ministers To Consider At June Meeting

The Lancet: Investment in health is key to boosting wealth
Editorial Board

“The health and wealth of a nation are fundamentally linked. Healthier populations live longer, more productive lives, leading to greater economic prosperity. A report by the G20 Health and Development Partnership — Healthy Nations, Sustainable Economies — reiterates this now-familiar theme and calls on G20 health and finance ministers to work together, particularly in support of health research and development, to advance health. … However, the report misses the opportunity to convey other health messages that are arguably of even greater importance to finance ministries: for example, major increases in tobacco taxes provide a powerful tool to attenuate the epidemics of cancer and cardiovascular disease. And most countries will require increased reliance on tax revenues to finance universal health coverage — a demand that will only increase as populations age. The report will be presented to ministers ahead of the first joint meeting of G20 health and finance ministers on June 28 in Japan. We urge ministers to take heed of the report’s emphasis on the central role of research and development in advancing human health. Interdisciplinary working is the way forward for health and such joint meetings must become a regular fixture” (3/16).