Publications

    Madore A, Rosenberg J, Weintraub R. “Sin Taxes” and Health Financing in the Philippines. Harvard Business Publishing. 2015.Abstract

    This case traces the implementation of tobacco tax policy and health system reforms in the Philippines from 2009 to 2015 in the context of the global tobacco control movement, the economic and political influence of the Philippine tobacco industry, and the Philippine health system. After providing background on the prevalence and costs of smoking in the Philippines, the case follows the steps taken by a diverse group of actors to design, promote, and implement higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol products, the primary goals of which were to reduce smoking and raise funds to achieve universal health care. The case highlights the strategies used to counter opposition from the tobacco industry and allied politicians. It focuses on Health Secretary Enrique Ona’s efforts to support sin tax reform and how the country used the resulting revenues to try to improve health care and health insurance coverage. It ends with Ona contemplating the impact of his investments in national health insurance and public health infrastructure as a new health secretary takes his place.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    From left to right: House of Representatives; Woman selling cigarettes
    From left to right: House of Representatives; Woman selling cigarettes. Source: Global Health Delivery Project case writers.

    Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate the complexity and trade-offs governments may face in stimulating their economy, regulating industry, and improving public health; the importance of data in driving and sustaining policy reform; the role of financing policies and funding as tools for health system strengthening and value creation when leveraged strategically; and the potential for health to unify different actors and sectors to generate new policy and restructure fiscal and financial systems.

    Keywords: Health insurance, health care financing, tobacco control, smoking, universal health care implementation, policy, cross sector collaboration, health system reform, political leadership, management

    Bitton A, Talbot JR, Clarke L. Tobacco Control in South Africa. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case reviews the policy changes in tobacco control in post-apartheid South Africa from 1994 to 1996 under the leadership of Minister of Health Dr. Nkosazana Zuma. After providing contextual information on South Africa, including historical, demographic, social, and health information, the case delves into the history of tobacco and of global tobacco control efforts. The case then details the history of tobacco in South Africa, including data collection, epidemiology, early control efforts, and the policy efforts of the mid-1990s. The case describes the African National Congress (ANC)’s policy victories under Zuma’s leadership. Knowing that tobacco disproportionately affected certain racial and minority groups, Zuma made tobacco control a top priority. With the support of the President, local tobacco experts, and anti-tobacco advocates, Zuma worked hard to break previous connections between the government and the tobacco industry and to reduce smoking. The case ends in 1996 when smoking prevalence had declined to 32% from 34% in 1995, but South Africa still had one of the highest levels in the developing world. As the ANC was preparing to enact the new Constitution that reinforced health promotion, Zuma had to determine what her next move would be for tobacco control and how she would prioritize it with the other health needs of the country.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Tobacco Control as Health Promotion
    Tobacco Control as Health Promotion. Source: Reddy, SP and Swart D. Unraveling Health Promotion: A Framework for Action: Tobacco Control. MRC: 1998. (Exhibit 8 in "Tobacco Control in South Africa" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand the political and economic forces that impact tobacco control legislation in a country undergoing an epidemiological shift, the role of research and data, and the value of health communication, chronic disease prevention, and advocacy in health care delivery.

    Supporting Content: This case has a supplementary summary of history and next steps, titled Tobacco Control in South Africa: Next Steps.

    Keywords: Chronic disease prevention, advocacy, health policy, tobacco control