One Thing You Own But Can't Rent

HB in the Netherlands June 2018

Posted: June 25, 2018

One Thing You Own But Can't Rent

One thing you own but can’t rent is your health. During a recent trip to the Netherlands, I enjoyed the opportunity to engage in some very thought-provoking dialogue at the AESGP pan-European self-care medicines conference about ways that patients can be better owners of their health in Europe and around the world.

An idea that stood out involves the role of diagnostic testing in self-care, known as over-the-counter medicine in some parts of the world. It’s an area of growing interest for me because patients can become more aware of their conditions and react accordingly. Common over-the-counter diagnostics include glucose monitors or pregnancy tests – both help patients to determine whether additional medical care is required or if the issue can be treated at home.

But recently there’s been an emergence of in-home tests for a range of other issues, including the presence of an enlarged prostate, Lyme disease or even HIV, allowing patients to better own their health. In Europe, Mylan offers many such solutions already, including HIV self-tests in France and Belgium, among others. By learning their HIV status sooner, patients can receive faster treatment and hopefully reduce the potential for further transmission. I look forward to future digital innovations in over-the-counter diagnostics as well. Unlike those who rent an asset, as owners of our health, there’s no doubt that over-the-counter diagnostics can help us to invest in our wellbeing and take proactive measures to deliver better outcomes.

While in the Netherlands, I also attended the opening ceremony for the Princess Maxima Pediatric Oncology Center. The Dutch are known for their first-rate care in cancer, and I’m proud that Mylan participated in the construction of this important new medical resource for children in the country.