At Johnson & Johnson, we believe that good health is at the heart of human progress—it enables children to thrive, families and communities to prosper, and countries to rise from poverty and achieve economic security. That is why we have a promise to relentlessly drive better health for all.
Unfortunately, for far too many people around the world, good health is not within reach. According to the 2017 Global Monitoring Report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services, and 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty because of the cost of health care.
Universal health coverage (UHC) is a global priority, championed by the WHO and promoted by governments worldwide. As part of the Sustainable Development Goals, all United Nations (UN) Member States, including the United States, have committed to achieve UHC by 2030. Doing so will build healthier communities and stronger economies.
Johnson & Johnson’s Position on UHC
UHC is aligned with Our Credo commitments to patients, caregivers, and communities. Regardless of where they live, everyone should have access to quality and affordable essential healthcare services.
We support UHC through initiatives in the following key areas:
- Workforce & Infrastructure: A robust heath system with well-trained and well-equipped health workers is foundational to achieving UHC. In particular, we believe a holistic approach ensures that (1) young people are knowledgeable and supported to enter health-related careers; (2) health workers are provided with opportunities to improve their education and strengthen their skills; (3) health workers and health systems are resilient and can adapt to adversity; and (4) health systems are equipped with the supplies and tools they need to deliver quality care.
- Access & Affordability: Patients and communities must have access to essential care, including drugs, vaccines, surgical care and other medical technologies needed to prevent and treat diseases and address public health needs. We engage stakeholders throughout the world to achieve broad and timely access to our medicines at sustainable prices that are locally affordable. Safe, authentic medicines must be procured and in stock at the local and primary care levels. This holds true for many essential medicines that currently are available as generics, as well as newer, more innovative medicines. Ensuring access to innovative products can help individual patients and free up health system resources.
- Sustainable Financing: While UHC is an important, unifying goal, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to how UHC is financed and delivered through government, non-profit or private-sector channels. Rather, each country must tailor strategies that align to local needs, resources, market conditions and societal values. UHC can be established through a variety of models and systems, but all require sustainable financing for both providers and patients. Financing considerations should account for the full complexity of the healthcare system, rather than addressing specific issues in isolation. We support investments in value-based care that ensure patients and health systems are spending their money on effective solutions.
- Shared Accountability: While governments typically play a leading role in building health systems and financing and/or delivering care, the inherent complexity of healthcare means no one sector can effectively deliver on the promise of UHC. Moving toward UHC requires a diverse group of stakeholders to participate in the effective design, implementation and delivery of care for all. The public, private and non-profit sectors have both a shared responsibility and accountability toward this goal. Appropriate, transparent measurement systems to track country-level progress of key bellwether outcomes for health system capacity are crucial to ensuring this accountability.
Johnson & Johnson’s Activities to Support UHC
We are firmly committed to doing our part, in partnership with others, to ensure the promise of UHC becomes a reality for patients, families and communities around the world. Doing so requires a mix of global and country-specific programs as well as policy-shaping work. Around the world we support more than hundreds of health-related programs and we strive through these to align with government priorities, advocating with both local and central government for quality healthcare workers, especially for women and children.
For examples of initiatives from health workforce and health system infrastructure to enabling progress through technology, see the Enhancing Access to Healthcare, Strengthening Health Systems, Innovating for Better Health and Contributing to Community Health sections of our 2018 Health for Humanity Report. Additional information on our progress can be found in our Health for Humanity 2020 Goals and UN Sustainable Development Goal commitments progress scorecards.
Last Updated: May 2019