About the Health & Life Sciences Committee

Spanning five sectors of the industry (pharmaceutical, medical device, over-the-counter consumer goods, nutrition and IT systems), the US-ASEAN Business Council’s Health and Life Sciences (HLS) Committee develops, in partnership with ASEAN governments and other stakeholders, sustainable models for health that provide all people with access to affordable, innovative, and quality care. The HLS Committee builds active and sustained channels of engagement through the exchange of expertise and resources with partner governments and stakeholders.

What We Do

Initiatives by the committee focus on dialogue with the ASEAN government to work collaboratively in identifying policies and helping to build institutions that enhance each country’s respective health, life science and investment environments. The Health & Life Science Committee is responsive to the fact that events such as SARS, Avian Influenza and financial crisis’s have challenged public health systems accentuating the need to intensify the dialogue and engagement with ASEAN governments at both a working and senior level and in both health and commerce areas, to facilitate health care reform to achieve better health outcomes.

The Committee is strengthening its relationship as a committed group of industry experts within regulatory and health care areas with the ASEAN Secretariat. The Committee has participated in the ASEAN Working Group on Pharmaceutical Development (AWGPD) and the ASEAN Experts Group on Communicable Diseases (AEGCD) who both report to the ASEAN Senior Officials on Health Development and the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standard and Quality (ACCSQ) Pharmaceutical Product Working Group (PPWG) meetings.

The Committee has convened dialogue sessions with the Ministry of Trade, Singapore, lead for healthcare within the ASEAN Framework Agreement for the Integration of Priority Sectors in ASEAN and Senior Officer, Standards and Conformance Unit, ASEAN Secretariat to discuss the Roadmap for Integration of the Healthcare Sector. Members’ issues are also addressed through their participation in the Council’s Senior Executive Business Missions and the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meetings engaging with Health, Trade and Commerce Ministers. The Committee continues to pursue their request for a meeting during the ASEAN Health Ministers Meetings.

The Committee has provided opportunities to Members as speakers and participants in regional and international forums including the Medical Device Capacity Building Workshops held prior to the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standard and Quality (ACCSQ) Medical Device Product Working Group (MDPWG), the APEC Anti-counterfeiting Health Products Seminars and working with Health Sciences Authority, Singapore in the organisation of these seminars as well APEC Life Science Innovation Forum meetings. The Committee have hosted ASEAN health officials at breakfast discussions during the APEC Life Science Innovation Forum meetings in Vietnam and Singapore.

A series of three one-day seminars on anti-counterfeiting of medical products in Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila were organised by the Committee. These seminars brought together key stakeholders from industry, health and customs government officials, ASEAN Secretariat, academia and the medical and health communities in each country. The Committee has hosted health care dialogues in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam as part of the Council’s Senior Executive Business Missions. These dialogues have initiated discussions, in an in-formal format, on public-private partnerships amongst government, the medical and health community and industry on related health care issues in the country. The dialogues have been led by Senior Officials and the Committee's Chair, Jhpiego.

Individual country challenges have confronted the health and life science industry’s business models. Despite these challenges American companies remain committed to Southeast Asia’s health and life science sector providing new and essential innovative medicines and therapies, medical devices and equipment and offering expertise for capacity building, training and education in the health care forum.

The Committee has adapted and remained committed to improvements and changes in health care and health policy for ASEAN and its people despite the challenges which have recently tasked this sector and may continue to do so in years to come.