Gordon Liu, PhD, is a PKU Yangtze River Scholar Professor of Economics at Peking University National School of Development (NSD),
and Director of PKU China Center for Health Economic Research (CCHER). Prior to PKU, he served on fulltime faculty at UNC Chapel Hill and
University of Southern California. Dr. Liu sits on The China State Council Health Reform Advisory Commission; the UN Sustainable Development and
Solution Network (SDSN) Leadership Council led by Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, and Co-Chairs the SDSN Health Thematic Group.
He was the 2005-2006 President of the Chinese Economists Society, and the founding chair of Asian Consortium for the
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Dr. Liu has served as Associate Editor for the
journals Health Economics (HE), China Economic Quarterly (CEQ), and Value in Health (the official journal of ISPOR).
His research interest is health and development economics, health policy reform, and pharmaceutical economics.
ISPOR Vision Statement by Gordon Liu, PhD
2016 is a special year with the beginning of the new world era defined by the post-2015 development agenda, transitioning from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the newly set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the world’s largest organization of its kind, ISPOR has a great potential and responsibility to help achieve the global Health SDG through wise investment in population health. This in turn reinforces the central mission for ISPOR to continue its vital role in leading the world towards more value-based allocation of healthcare resources. In doing so, as a Board Director member, I believe three key messages are worth emphasizing for formulating ISPOR’s tasks and engaging with global leaders for joint efforts.
First, investing in health is a central driver for both human development and economic growth. On the one hand, good health as the most universal human need offers intrinsic value for human development. On the other hand, good health as human capital provides vital instrumental value for economic productivity. Yet, good health does not come by itself, but is produced with the inputs, including cost-effective medicine. Therefore, increased access to modern medicine should be assessed against not only the direct health gains but also economic outcomes.
Second, the healthcare market will continue to grow as the leading sector of the world’s economies in the 21st century. In this regard, two implications are worth noting. First, healthcare’s increasing share of economies is driven largely by people’s demand. Public policies therefore should not be aimed only at controlling healthcare cost without considering the value of consumer choice. Second, healthcare is a labor intensive industry, with great advantage for high employment.
Third, healthcare payment policies may be more effective when medical input market and clinical service market are differentiated in policy settings. In the medical input market, the main players are manufacturers on the supply side and hospitals on the demand side, exchanging standardized products such as pharmaceuticals and devices. Since patients are minimally involved in this market, uncertainty is not a major issue, offering comparative advantages with market competition. In the clinical service market, on the other hand, clinical providers are suppliers while patients are demanders; individual health outcomes and thus uncertainty become the central issue. As such, group health insurance payment interventions must be in place, As such, optimal health insurance payment interventions must be in place, aiming at the health-centered purchasing strategies with compatible incentives to align the interests of patients and service providers for optimal outcomes.