News Across Asia April 2020

We hope this finds you in good health. Welcome to the Spring 2020 issue of News Across Asia, the quarterly newsletter of ISPOR Asia Consortium. This issue provides featured articles on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in India and Kazakhstan, perspectives on COVID-19 impact and response in Mainland China and Japan, and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the Philippines. There are also several general health policy updates on the global COVID-19 pandemic and important health initiatives in the region. Finally, we welcome your participation at Virtual ISPOR 2020 this May 2020.

Happy reading and stay well,

News Across Asia Co-Editors Alex Z. Fu, Sang Soo Lee, and Fang Zhang


 Featured Articles

  • Health Technology Assessment Program in India – Updates 2020
  • Our Common Ground: Towards a Shared Understanding of the Universal Healthcare Law and its Opportunities and Challenges for the Private Sector in the Philippines
  • Anti-Epidemic Drugs in China: Always Pay Attention to Adverse Drug Reactions
  • COVID-19: Japanese Situation Update
  • New Perspectives in the New Decade: The Role of HTA in Ensuring Transparency and Efficiency of Decision-Making in the Context of the Implementation of CSIH in Kazakhstan

 HEOR Updates from the Region

  • China Pharmacoeconomic Guidelines Update 2020
  • COVID-19 Updates – WHO SEARO, Mainland China, South Korea
  • Webinar series
  • ISPOR Asia Consortium meeting 2020
  • Value in Health Regional Issues – Asia articles-in-press

ISPOR Member News




China Pharmacoeconomic Guidelines Update 2020

ISPOR Beijing Chapter

 In response to the recent state policy calls and growing need for economic evaluations of pharmaceutical products and health technologies in general, the Pharmaceutical Economics Committee of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association has recently completed the 2020 Edition of China Pharmacoeconomic Evaluation Guidelines (hereinafter referred to as The Guidelines [2020 Edition]). Under the leadership of Professor Gordon G Liu, an Expert Panel was formulated in summer 2018 with a total of 57 experts from both China and abroad to work on this task. The first draft was finished in April 2019 and several rounds of discussions and revisions were further conducted. After nearly 2 years of the joint efforts, The Guidelines [2020 Edition]) was finalized in December 2019, and its formal publication is scheduled to come out in early summer of 2020 by the China Science Press.

The Guidelines (2019 Edition) have both a Chinese version and an English version. It includes six parts, including an introduction, instructions, executive summary, body, references, and appendices. The body is written with a total of eleven chapters in accordance with international standards on methods and techniques. It provides methodological principles, general process and standards for the economic evaluation of pharmacotherapy-related programs, with focus on study questions, study design, cost, discounting, health outcomes, evaluation techniques, model analysis, variability and uncertainty, equity, generalizability and budget impact analysis, respectively. The appendices include the template for standard reporting and quality checklist. It is hoped that The Guidelines (2019 Edition) will help further standardize the research paradigm and promote the development of pharmacoeconomics, and improve the efficiency of healthcare resource allocations in China. To this end, the developers will continue to maintain an open and dynamic process to welcome comments and suggestions for future updating and further improvement of the China Guidelines for Pharmacoeconomic Evaluations.

COVID-19 Updates

World Health Organization – Southeast Asia Regional Office

With the spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organization emphasized on a stronger whole of society and whole of government effort in the South-East Asia Region to mitigate the efforts of the pandemic.

“A more comprehensive approach is needed with communities at the center of our response. Most importantly, communities need to be engaged and empowered to take appropriate decisions and measures. The onus must be on each one. At this stage, everyone needs to contribute to minimize health as well as socio-economic impact of the pandemic,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.

For more information, please visit here.

Mainland China

Government Response

According to the National Health Commission, China has deployed several key principles to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including leveraging a unified and effective commanding system that emphasizes the “ 4 earlies” – early detection, early reporting, early isolation and early treatment. A coordinated deployment of medical resources encompassed 3 mobile P3 labs to expand testing capacity to 35,000 persons a day, tracing and quarantine of close contacts, and construction of 16 field hospitals to treat 12,000 moderate patients. A rapid improvement in treatment capacity including the dispatch of over 300 medical teams and over 40,000 staff, the use of traditional Chinese medicine and free treatment for the infected. Big data were also applied to research the virus and conduct tracing to help identify the pathogen and optimize a test kit quickly. For more information on Chinese COVID-19 response, please visit: http://en.nhc.gov.cn/.

Research Reports on COVID-19 in China

Professor Xin Sun, Director of Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Center of Sichuan University, President of ISPOR West China Chapter, and his research team (CREAT Group) have been commissioned to produce serial research reports about epidemiology and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 since January 22. These research findings have been submitted to the government authorities to support policy making in Sichuan Province. On March 7, Professor Sun received a special interview about the development and value of real-world evidence in China. This interview was well received, during which nearly 9000 participants attended. Additionally, Professor Sun and his team have recently published an opinion paper in the BMJ that proposed the use of research evidence about COVID-19 to reduce panic among the public in China (https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/02/28/communicating-research-evidence-about-covid-19-to-reduce-public-panic/).

China HEOR Expert – Addressed the COVID-19 Outbreak

Shanlian Hu, MD, MSc, Professor of Fudan University School of Public Health, one of the ISPOR Asia Consortium founding member, is a member of China National COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Group. Recently Professor Hu has been interviewed by various Chinese media channels and contributed many COVID-19 related articles from a health economist’s point of view. He has offered his opinions about trends in epidemiology and characteristics of COVID-19, how Chinese public health system responds to epidemic preparedness and response against disease outbreaks and challenges faced, how to further strengthen public health system and how the national health insurance scheme should work regarding reimbursement of novel anti-virus drugs in the near future. Professor Hu was also a member of expert panel for 2003 SARS outbreak in Shanghai, China.

COVID-19 Panel Discussion

Dr. Zhuo Chen, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, University of Georgia College of Public Health, USA, was invited to participate in a panel discussion on COVID-19 outbreak organized by Renmin University of China on March 22, 2020. Dr. Chen discussed the lessons learned and shared some success stories from the US public health system. He also warned of quality control and assurance of medical supplies made in China for exportation and potential overproduction after the outbreak. Recently Dr. Chen has been interviewed by several media outlets, including DeepTech and DXY.com and he gave his views upon how to strengthen the public health system for emergency response and capacity building in China.

South Korea

In South Korea, the COVID-19 response and policy has underscored a treatment system based on disease severity, where early screening determines the type of case and how it is handled. Screening could involve different measures such as epidemiological surveys, extensive testing through drive through and walk in clinics, and self-diagnosis apps. If cases are categorized as being mild, patients are supported through a living and treatment support center, while moderate and severe cases are treated in specialized hospitals. Some key principles in the response include transparency in the decision-making process to the public, containment with minimum restrictions on exchange and travel, equal treatment for Korea and foreign nationals, high-tech measure deployment and efficient management within all levels of government. For more information, please visit: https://www.mohw.go.kr/eng/

Webinar Series

ISPOR Asia Consortium Webinar – HTA Developments in Asia Pacific

ISPOR Asia Consortium recently held a webinar of the topic “New Developments of Health Technology Assessment in Asia Pacific,” and the recording and summary report will be available shortly. To view all ISPOR webinars, please visit here.

ISPOR Europe, Middle East and Africa Webinar – Financing Epidemics in Africa

ISPOR Global Networks EMEA held a webinar recently on the topic “Financing Epidemics: Developing an Insurance Scheme for Outbreaks in Africa,” and the recording will be available publicly on the ISPOR website shortly.

APACMed Webinar: The Evolving HTA Landscape across APAC

The Asia Pacific Medical Device Association, APACMed, will be hosting a webinar on “the Evolving HTA Landscape across Asia Pacific” on May 12, 2020. For more information, please visit here.

ISPOR Asia Consortium Meeting

ISPOR Asia Consortium will be holding a virtual meeting in May/June 2020, which will be welcome to all in the Consortium and all professionals interested in HEOR in Asia Pacific. The meeting will include timely regional updates on health policy and HEOR, including health system responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information will be forthcoming, and for questions please contact asiaconsortium@ispor.org.

Value in Health Regional Issues – Asia articles-in-press

There are numerous excellent articles in press for the upcoming May 2020 Asia issue available now online here (note ISPOR membership required to view most articles)


Welcome to Virtual ISPOR 2020!

 “HEOR: Advancing Evidence to Action”, May 14, 18-20, 2020. Registration to open soon!

Due to the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated global regulations, restrictions, and advisories ISPOR made decision to cancel the ISPOR 2020 in-person event, which will now take place as a virtual conference. The program includes a special session dedicated to the subject of COVID-19 followed by a comprehensive program including 3 plenary sessions, issue panels, workshops, podium presentations, and symposia. Research abstracts from the conference will be published in the Society’s journal, Value in Health, and will be available in the ISPOR Presentations Database.

May 14 COVID-19 Session

HEOR in the Era of COVID-19

This virtual session will discuss health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) insights and perspectives on the evolving epidemic situation and the implications for short-term and long-term healthcare decisions.

May 18, 19, 20 Plenary Sessions:

Plenary 1: Health Policy—Designing for the Future

Plenary 2: HEOR and Clinical Decision Making—Advancing Meaningful Progress

Plenary 3: On the Road to Enhanced Cost-Effectiveness Analysis—New Directions, New Milestones

Virtual Short Course Program

June–September 2020 | Dates and Times to be Announced
A virtual Short Course program will be announced over the next few weeks with courses offered from June to September.

Detailed program and registration information will be announced on ISPOR website, please keep visiting Virtual ISPOR 2020 for upcoming details. 

For information on ISPOR’s COVID-19 response and a status on the Society’s conferences, please access here.

ISPOR Chapter Leadership Training 2020

ISPOR will be organizing several training webinars for ISPOR regional chapter leaders throughout 2020 on a variety of topics that include both HEOR and policy topics as well as leadership skills training. The next trainings will be held for the Latin American region in April 2020 and for the Asia Pacific region in July 2020. For more information, please visit here.

The ISPOR Regional Chapter Resource Center is a new online repository of information for Chapter leaders and members to assist them with Chapter development, e.g., membership, governance, policies, available trainings, recognition opportunities, dissemination, and communication, etc.

Contribute to Value in Health Regional Issues

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Sponsored Webinars

Use the power of ISPOR’s research to bring your message directly to the global HEOR community. ISPOR’s sponsored webinars provide a unique opportunity to reach and educate a targeted audience of HEOR researchers and decision makers. For more information contact Sean Gormley, Associate Director, Exhibits and Meeting Partnerships at: sgormley@ispor.org

Activate your ISPOR Profile

Please activate your ISPOR user profile in the new system to access ISPOR’s HEOR content and resources with a single sign-on, including Value in Health and Value in Health Regional Issues articles, Good Practices for Outcomes Research Reports, and other HEOR resources. To activate your user profile, please:

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ISPOR Open Source Models Special Interest Group

The mission of the ISPOR Open Source Models Special Interest Group is to curate an ongoing dialog regarding issues around creating, disseminating, sharing, evaluating, and updating open source cost-effectiveness and comparative effectiveness models. Open source models (OSMs) are those for which all code associated with the model is made openly viewable and available to enhance transparency and, perhaps, enable replication of the model. The ISPOR Open Source Models Special Interest Groups is undertaking a survey of all ISPOR members soon in order to be able to effectively examine and address our members’ perspectives on these issues and direct the upcoming work of the Special Interest Group for the membership. Look for the survey in the upcoming month and please complete it. For those ISPOR members interested in open source models, we welcome your participation. Sign up here.

ISPOR has 6 Good Practices Task Force Reports currently underway

All ISPOR members who are knowledgeable and interested in a task force’s topic may participate in a task force review group.  The review group provides comments on drafts of the manuscript necessary to achieve a thorough, high quality, consensus report. To join a review group, click on the link to the ISPOR Good Practices Task Force Reports menu and select the task force(s).

New ISPOR Women in HEOR “Resources” Page

The Women in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Initiative recently launched a new “Resources” webpage which includes links to presentations from recent conferences as well as external resources to grow your network and advance your career. Click here to access the new resources page. The ISPOR Women in HEOR initiative is open to all ISPOR members who have an interest in the advancement of women in the field—both women and men. Much research has demonstrated that diversity is a business/performance issue, not a women’s issue. This initiative seeks to foster diversity in HEOR—with the knowledge that diversity in the field will result in better research and better healthcare decisions. For more information on the initiative, please click here.


Are you involved with ISPOR Consortium activities but are not an ISPOR member yet? Becoming a member of the professional society for health economics and outcomes research, (HEOR) has many advantages. Join ISPOR Now, and become part of a global collaborative HEOR community and contribute to improving health care decision making around the world!

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To learn about the latest HEOR news in (Asia Pacific / EMEA) and read about activities and initiatives of ISPOR global groups in the (Asia Pacific / EMEA) regions, please access the April 2020 issues of News Across Asia-Pacific . / April 2020 issue of News Across EMEA.

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About ISPOR Asia Consortium



The ISPOR Asia Consortium Consortium is comprised of professionals interested in promoting health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) excellence to improve healthcare decision making in Asia Pacific and globally. The Asia consortium provides a platform for information-sharing and institutional collaboration on HEOR and health policy, facilitating professional networking opportunities through scientific activities and global ISPOR initiatives.

Want to join? Contact asiaconsortium@ispor.org