Parallel Session 2.5

Best Buys, Wasted Buys and Controversies in NCD prevention

2 February 2019

10:30 - 12:30 hrs.

Background :

The world is facing a spectre of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which will diminish the length and quality of life, interact with existing health conditions, raise household and public health expenditures, and increase the burden of care on family members. A number of policies have been implemented to fight NCDs and studies have shown some interventions to be ‘best buys’ whereas others are ‘wasted buys’. Most NCDs can be preventable and, given the generally lower cost and simpler delivery of preventive interventions, a move towards preventive rather than curative interventions could be attractive. Another approach that is gaining prominence in discussions of NCDs is ‘do-it-yourself’ or DIY interventions. NCDs are by definition not contagious or infectious and people develop them over the course of their lives for many reasons including those to do with lifestyle. As such, they can be prevented if people modify their lifestyles (i.e., in DIY interventions). At present, there is no definitive collection of evidence on ‘best buys’, ‘wasted buys’, and DIY interventions for the prevention of the NCD burden that governments, health professionals, NCD program managers, and healthy lifestyle promotion personnel can use. 

Objectives :

This session will introduce an upcoming information package which aims to provide details on Best Buys, Wasted Buys, and DIYs in NCD prevention focusing on cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke), diabetes, chronic lung disease and cancers. This work is not intended to offer a one-size-fits-all approach for making recommendations on NCD prevention. It seeks instead to identify how different systems can create and utilize information for identifying interventions offering best value for their populations.


Anthony Culyer


University of York

United Kingdom


Adam Elshaug

Professor of Health Policy and Co-Director

Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney


Bundit Sornpaisarn

Project Scientist

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health


Jesse Bump

Lecturer on Global Health Policy and Executive Director of the Takemi Program in International Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

United States of America

Karen Hofman



South Africa

Peter Neumann


The Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Tufts Medical Center

United States of America

Ryota Nakamura

Associate Professor

Hitotsubashi University


Tazeem Bhatia

Public Health Physician

Public Health England

United Kingdom

Tea Collins

Adviser, WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on Noncommunicable Diseases

World Health Organization


Thunyarat Anothaisintawee

Assistant Professor

Department of Family Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University


Yot Teerawattananon


Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program