Governments, health officials and companies operating in the health sector are facing a series of policy-related opportunities and risks in Southeast Asia. Decisions they make will influence the state of health care across the region and hopefully create the foundation for continued progress. There are four policy areas that require attention: investment, speed, innovation and choices.


Patients want choices. They want to share in decisions about the medicines they take. A wider range of treatment options can help increase competition and bring down prices. But choices are limited when national governments are slow to approve new medicines or don’t prioritize the latest treatments in their health care spending.

Innovative medicines and therapies have helped save lives and reduce the financial burden of disease for patients and societies. Studies have estimated that new medicines accounted for as much as 73 percent of the increase in life expectancy from 2000-2009.