Health equity in the one hand refers to the absence of systematic disparities in health between different social groups in a given Society, a province, a country or a group of country. Health inequity thus corresponds to a situation in which health services are not similarly available to all people with the same health conditions and health needs, due to individual personal or socioeconomic characteristics.
Health economics in the other hand focuses on how to allocate health budgets in order to maximize the general health of the population as a whole. With regards to this, no specific attention is dedicated to socially disadvantaged subgroups. In addition, the most visible action in the field of health economics was the valorization of therapeutic innovation, i.e., the determination of its price not on production costs but on the value associated with this innovation.
Economic evaluation – i.e., determination of incremental cost-effectiveness ration – has lead during the last 20 years to substantial financial pressure on health care systems with dramatic increase in health expenditures mainly due to the costs of therapeutic innovation. Several studies have shown that such a process may increase health inequities within a country or a group of countries if specific actions are not taken to maintain or improve treatment availability and access to care to all the population members whatever their social, educational and economic characteristics.
Disclosure of Interest None declared