NCDs currently kill 36 million people per year, and the burden continues to escalate, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. These countries often lack resources and capacity to tackle these diseases, and therefore need to adopt an incremental approach as they move to address the gaps in NCD prevention and control. One challenge is to assess which interventions will bring the most beneﬁt for the lowest cost - in other words, what are the ‘best buys’.
A further challenge is to assess the cost of their scaled-up implementation. Population-based best buy interventions address tobacco and harmful alcohol use, as well as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity in low- and middle-income countries. The cost for these approaches US$ 2 billion yearly. In low-income and lower middle income countries, the median cost per head of population amounts to less than US$ 0.20 per year, while for upper-middle income countries the median value is close to US$ 0.50. These amounts represent less than 1% of total per capita spending on health.