Welcome to our library! Here you will find IDB publications on Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Health Benefit Plans (HBP), pharmaceutical policy, drugs and medical devices regulation, catastrophic funds, and horizon scanning, among others. We classify our publications into three categories: books, policy documents, and technical notes. 

The collection presented here contains all our English publications. If you would like to access our full collection of publications, please visit the Spanish version of our website by changing the language in the upper right corner of this site.

TWO PAGER How to improve the impact and sustainability of health projects for the population
Breves
According to estimates from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the public health network of Latin American and the Caribbean has an investment deficit of over $150 billion. This deficit corresponds to the uncovered financial needs to guarantee the adequate functioning of infrastructure assets and medical equipment.
How much could Chilean households save by switching to generic medications?
Breves
In Latin America and the Caribbean, pharmaceutical expenditure ranges from 8.5% (Costa Rica) to 22.1% (Mexico) of total health expenditure[1]. Governments cover part of this expenditure, but in many countries households foot a considerable part of the cost.
¿Cuánto podrían ahorrar y qué ganarían los hogares chilenos usando medicamentos genéricos en vez de sus equivalentes de marca?
Notas técnicas
En Chile, el gasto en salud pagado directamente por los hogares el gasto de bolsillo en salud es de 32 por ciento del total, uno de los más altos entre los países de la OCDE. De este gasto, 40 por ciento corresponde a la adquisición de medicamentos. 40 por ciento de los medicamentos ambulatorios a los que accede la población chilena son adquiridos de forma particular en el mercado del retail a través de farmacias privadas. Este trabajo cuantifica cuánto podrían ahorrar los hogares si compraran medicamentos genéricos sin marca en vez de sus equivalentes de marca. Adicionalmente, estima cómo se distribuiría este ahorro por nivel socioeconómico y calcula su costo de oportunidad en términos de gasto de bolsillo y consumo de otros bienes en el hogar. Los resultados indican que existe la posibilidad de sustitución para 29 por ciento del valor del mercado y que el ahorro potencial alcanzaría los 315 millones de dólares anuales. Esto corresponde a un ahorro potencial de 48 por ciento en este segmento. Adicionalmente, para 51 por ciento del mercado no hay sustitutos genéricos disponibles a pesar de que los medicamentos de este segmento perdieron la patente y existen alternativas genéricas con registro sanitario en Chile u otros países. El ahorro potencial de sustituir productos de marca por productos genéricos reduciría 4 por ciento el gasto total en salud de los hogares y 10 por ciento el gasto en medicamentos. Los ahorros son más importantes para hogares con menor nivel educativo entre 12 y 17 por ciento del gasto en medicamentos. Para ilustrar la importancia en términos de otros gastos del hogar, este ahorro permitiría a los hogares con menor nivel educativo pagar cerca de 50 días de transporte por año o más de 2 meses de transporte de días laborales.
Más salud por peso invertido: beneficios potenciales de mejorar la eficiencia en el gasto de salud
Breves
Obtener más de nuestro gasto actual en salud es una forma inteligente para mejorar el desempeño del sistema de salud. Eso es particularmente cierto en el contexto actual: los presupuestos son limitados y se proyecta que los gastos en salud aumenten 3% por año en términos reales. Aumentar los retornos del gasto en salud es bueno para los resultados en salud y puede ayudar a argumentar a favor de aumentar el gasto relativamente bajo en salud en la región.
TWO PAGER Room for improvement: Performance of public hospitals in four LAC health systems
Breves
Hospitals are a key component of health systems and health spending in Latin America and the Caribbean. Across the region, hospital care already accounts for about 1/3 of total health spending and it is expected to increase in absolute and relative terms as populations age and medical technology improves. The public sector has a substantial role in providing and paying for hospital services, through ownership and management of public hospitals and through public insurance schemes
Smart health spending: how to make every peso count
Libros y monografías
An aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the global COVID-19 pandemic have intensified demand for more healthcare. However, the health budget is very limited and mobilizing new resources is a difficult challenge. Now more than ever, the Latin American and Caribbean region needs to spend smarter on health. This report presents key concepts, tools, and strategies for making smarter health spending decisions, and guides readers to resources that provide practical examples and detailed explanations.
The hidden costs of high-cost medications: Colombia Case
Breves
The hidden costs of high-cost medications: Colombia Case
TWO PAGER More health per peso invested: potential benefits of improving efficiency in health spending
Breves
Getting more for our current spending is a smart way to improve health system performance. That rings especially true in the current context: budgets are tight and health expenditures are projected to increase by 3% annually in real terms. Increasing the returns to health spending is good for health outcomes and it can support the argument for increasing the relatively low spending on health across the region.
BREVE 27 - DISVESTMENT IN HEALTH: AN EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH
Breves

The term health divestment is used with a wide range of meanings, although the most commonly used definition is the one proposed by Elsaugh: “divestment is the process of withdrawing (partially or completely) funding from certain practices, procedures and/or or existing technologies that are considered of low or no value in relation to their cost and, therefore, do not represent an efficient allocation of resources”2. It is important to highlight some key elements of this definition.

BREVE 26 - DESIGN AND COSTING OF A HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN IN A LOW-MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRY. THE CASE OF HONDURAS
Breves

Honduras is a lower-middle income country with a fragmented health system and less than US$100 per capita per year to meet its health needs. Within the framework of its commitment to Universal Health Coverage (CUS), the government decided to design a Health Benefits Plan (PBS). The design of the PBS was carried out in five steps. (1) An inter-institutional team from the Honduran Ministry of Health and the Social Security Institute defined the fundamental characteristics of the PBS. (2) Taking advantage of previous work carried out in the country, the universe of potential candidates for inclusion was identified. (3) Prioritization criteria and decision rules were discussed and operationalized. (4) A bottom-up approach was used to cost the PBS, with the current low coverage and with different objectives of improving coverage levels. (5) Fiscal impact analyzes were prepared and alternative paths of expansion were discussed with the government, proposing ethical criteria on the path towards UHC. The resulting PBS includes 74 essential health interventions. Given financial constraints, a progressive expansion path was suggested, whereby marginal increases in the health budget would be allocated to PBS. The design of a PBS is a specific process for each context; it includes several steps that go beyond the implementation of health technology assessment methods and requires a lot of technical and participatory work time and substantial pragmatism to adapt the technical recommendations of the literature to the data and time constraints in the field.