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Introducing the Economic Cases for NCD Prevention and Control Collection

By The International NCD Economics Research Network

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths worldwide. While NCDs are often associated with aging in high-income countries, each year they are estimated to kill 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 years, more than 85 percent of them in low-and middle-income countries.

Aiming to expand the evidence base on the economic burden of NCDs and the importance of NCD prevention and control programs globally, the International NCD Economics Research Network has launched a PLOS Special Collection titled “Economic Cases for NCD Prevention and Control: A Global Perspective”. The Special Collection currently features nine articles published in PLOS ONE on economic evaluations of interventions, investment cases for NCD interventions, evaluation of NCD risk reduction policies, socioeconomic distribution of risk behaviors, and the economic impacts of NCDs on households, health systems, and nations.

NCDs, with high productivity losses and healthcare costs, can strain economies with limited healthcare systems, undermine social and economic development, and dramatically affect a country’s health security and stability. However, investments in effective NCD prevention and control strategies can result in millions of premature deaths averted and billions in economic output gained.

About the International NCD Economics Research Network

The International NCD Economics Research Network, a global coalition of academic, governmental, and nongovernmental partners co-chaired by experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection, RTI International, and the University of Illinois, Chicago, produces and shares peer-reviewed evidence on the economic impact of NCD prevention and control programs and policies, informing NCD strategies globally.

The new Special Collection adds to previous research undertaken by the Network and previously published in a collection titled “Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factors in Developing Countries: Policy Perspectives,” in Preventive Medicine, highlighting economic research on policies influencing NCD risk factors. The Network also develops tools and supports capacity building for conducting costing evaluations of NCD interventions.


Guest Editors: Economic Cases for NCD Prevention and Control: A Global Perspective


Rachel Nugent, Ph.D

Rachel Nugent is Vice President for Global Non-communicable Diseases at RTI International. She leads a global initiative to prevent and reduce the health and economic burdens of chronic non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. Prior to this position, Rachel was Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington and Director of the Disease Control Priorities Network. She received her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the George Washington University in Washington, DC, USA. She is a member of multiple advisory panels including the WHO Expert Panel on Management of Cardiovascular Disease and currently serves on The Lancet Commission on NCDIs of the Poorest Billion. In 2018, she led The Lancet Task Force on NCDs and Economics and served on the U.S. National Academy of Medicine Committee on Global Obesity.


Muhammad Jami Husain, Ph.D.

Muhammad Jami Husain, Ph.D. is an economist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through his research and interdisciplinary collaborations, he endeavors to bring science and evidence into health policy making. His work highlights the nexus between health investments (interventions and policies) and the advancement of the global development agenda as well as emphasizes the synergies between communicable and noncommunicable disease programs to enhance global health security.

Dr. Husain has led research, and published widely, in the areas of global health, health economics, economics of noncommunicable diseases and associated risk factors, economics of tobacco use prevention and control, health security, systems modelling, universal health care and development economics encompassing demography, poverty, inequality, and economic wellbeing. He has interest in the impact and effectiveness of public health policies, programs, and practices on health outcomes. Prior to joining CDC in 2013, he worked as a health economist at Swansea University, a lecturer in Economics at the Keele University, and a researcher at the Planning Commission of Bangladesh.

Dr. Husain obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from Keele University (UK), Master of Arts in International and Development Economics from the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (FHTW-Berlin, Germany), and Master of Social Science and Bachelor of Social Science in Economics from the University of Dhaka (Bangladesh). He received CDC’s Kaafee Billah Early Career Award (2017) for outstanding research on public health; CDC’s Outstanding Fellow Award (2015) for research, service, and leadership as a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow; and CDC’s NCCDPHP Director’s Award for Public Health Professional of the Future (2015) for outstanding leadership in the area of economics, and providing scientific and technical guidance and mentorship to the country partners.


Frank J. Chaloupka, Ph.D.

Frank J. Chaloupka is a Research Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Director of the UIC Health Policy Center. He holds appointments in the School of Public Health’s Division of Health Policy and Administration, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Department of Economics.  Hundreds of professional publications and presentations have resulted from Dr. Chaloupka’s research on the effects of prices, policies, and other environmental factors on tobacco use, alcohol use and abuse, illicit drug use, diet, physical activity, obesity, and related outcomes.


This Collection was supported by TEPHINET, a program of the Task Force for Global Health, Inc., via Cooperative Agreement number NU2GGH001873, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, The Task Force for Global Health, Inc. or TEPHINET.

Featured Image Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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