BIO International 2016 : “Imagine Who You will Meet” was an Appropriate Theme

Healthcare Disruption Is Creating Reform

BIO 2016 was an excellent meeting as usual because of the opportunity to hear thought leaders, policy makers, scientists and make connection with thousands of participants from around the world. Healthcare disruption, sustainability and patient access were major themes. Although it was not a “in-depth” scientific meeting there was an opportunity to focus on developments in Alzheimer’s Disease, genetic medicines, immuno-oncology, concussion (CTE), next-generation therapies such as CRISPR and CAR-T, and Digital Health. With over 1800 companies,universities,countries and Patient Advocacy groups exhibiting, a unique networking opportunity was possible over 4 days. There were three Exhibit Halls within the Moscone Campus that required plenty of stamina and advance planning. But most of the business action was on the Exhibit Floor and in”One on One Partnering” sessions. Social events extended the agenda through the evening.

More so than in previous years the so-called “Super Sessions” focused on market and policy issues such as drug pricing, patient access and economics of the healthcare system.

The theme of one Super Session:

Healthcare Disrupted: Moving Towards Patient-Centered, Value-Driven Biopharma ” offered a free book at the session, “Healthcare Disrupted” by Jeff Elton and Anne O’Riordan providing a guide to the massive transformation taking place in healthcare requiring “Next Generation Business Models and Strategies”. The volume/procedures model will be diminished and replaced by a focus on overall health and patient outcomes with a new buzzword value-based pricing. This disruption has been underway for several years but has been accelerated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) bringing many more patients, some with pre-existing conditions, into the system and an explosion of new drugs and technologies that are driving up healthcare costs bringing a new economic reality.

Pricing as you know is a major issue for the drug industry and the political pressures are mounting. As a result of this seismic shift, the healthcare system must migrate to “value” driven from volume driven with a “pivot to the patient“. Some of the trends and forces cited in this session were:

  • Prevention of disease will become more critical and cost-effective.
  • Digital medicine is more accessible and can offer more personalized healthcare.
  • Patients will become more empowered with a personal burden to achieve results.
  • Reciprocal burden increases for the physician for managing patient outcomes.
  • Greatest possible benefits should accrue to the general population but with more limited resources.

A key aspect of a value centric-business model is the convergence of technologies driven by real-time data. Digitally gathered data on clinical trials, drug efficacy, and patient outcomes can better identify factors in people’s lives that influence treatment approaches. In this new paradigm the sharing of data in an integrated decision model becomes critical. But who will share their valuable data? And when will enterprise and mobile software be developed to manage the trove of information?

More on BIO 2016 topics later this week.


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