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Dose of Innovation – MedCity News


The pace of innovation in healthcare is accelerating due to the powerful convergence of science and technology, which is accelerating progress. Our approach to healthcare is changing as gene sequencing, machine learning, powerful imaging, sensors, gene and cell therapies move from academic labs to everyday healthcare. For the first time, we not only can identify the molecular and genetic causes of disease, but we also have the technology to access them. Against this background, prevention and treatment are becoming possible. can you afford them?

where is the tension

We are in the midst of a rapidly accelerating pace of scientific discovery. As this has occurred, the growth of innovative treatments has been accompanied by rising prices. This has heightened the ever-present tension in society between the interests of the health care system and the moral right of patients to affordable care.The issues at stake are health, life and death. This is not surprising because . Case in point, in developed countries, about half of people with chronic diseases are not taking their medications as prescribed due to costs, leading to complications, premature death, and increased costs to the health system as the disease progresses. Think about it.

Tensions over drug prices are exacerbated by bad actors seeking to profit unfairly at the expense of public health. The most obvious example is Turing Pharmaceuticals, his 5000% markup on Daraprim. Daraprim, an orphan drug used to treat parasitic infections, has earned its CEO, Martin Shkreli, the label of America’s most despised man. But it’s not just headline-grabbing price increases that are causing concern. Smaller iteration prices are compounded over time. Take Humira, the world’s best-selling drug (with sales of about $20 billion), used to treat conditions ranging from arthritis to ulcerative colitis. Even though the original patent expired in 2016 for him, its list price has risen 500% since it launched 20 years ago.

Not surprisingly, there have been repeated calls for tighter regulation around the pricing of treatments. The challenge is that lower drug prices do not always translate into better access to patients. There is no clear answer that balances improving access to treatment and paying a fair price for innovation while ensuring the sustainability of the health system. But there is good news.

As the pace of innovation in healthcare continues to accelerate, it seems increasingly likely that innovation, not regulation, will take the fastest path to achieving a better balance over time. Here are some ways you can expect it to happen.

Innovation-led deflation

Biology is becoming a data science problem. It started with large-scale gene sequencing as costs fell from $100 million to $500 per genome over the last two decades and deepened with new tools to study biology in ever-greater detail. rice field. This biotechnology data revolution is dramatically accelerating our understanding of the biology of patient subgroups. As companies can rationally design drugs for the patients most likely to benefit from them, drug discovery will become faster, more predictable, reproducible, and therefore cheaper. increase.

One reason drugs are expensive is that successful drug discovery is rare. Historically, 9 out of 10 drugs failed in clinical trials, and biopharmaceutical companies tried to recoup losses from successful drugs. As our ability to control biology increases, the cost of failure is decreasing. Some companies are starting to show clinical trial success rates of over 60%, more than six times the industry average, thanks to technologies such as machine learning and new drug classes. The more medicines a company can bring to market, the more leeway it can price medicines to generate attractive revenues, and economies of scale will compress prices and increase access.

Innovation in therapeutic approaches

Most medical costs today are caused by starting care too late. As the disease progresses, treatment becomes more difficult and costly. It is estimated that about half of cancers are diagnosed in hospital emergency departments after patients arrive in pain. Most diseases are diagnosed and treated based on symptoms rather than the underlying biology of the disease. That is why our health care system is often described as a cure for the disease by those who are disillusioned with the status quo.

Advances in our understanding of biology are enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment of the causes of disease rather than the symptoms that occur in terminal illness. This saves system costs. Innovative treatments that can cure, slow, or prevent disease, despite appearing expensive at first, are ultimately cheaper for the health system than long-term treatments for chronic diseases. There is a possibility.

Payment model innovation

Innovative treatments pose challenges for the healthcare system. This is because the benefits of treatment can be lifelong while the costs are brought forward. Demand for such treatments could overwhelm payers whose business models revolve around annual budgets. Gileads’s hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, for example, was initially thought to be cost-effective, but was not affordable, making it difficult for many patients to obtain.

New business models aimed at accelerating innovation in pricing and redemption are beginning to emerge. One of the most interesting approaches is to build a large catalog of medicines that will be offered to healthcare systems and payers on a subscription basis to enable unprecedented access to innovative medicines around the world. is proposing.

competitive innovation

Decades of scientific and technological advances have successfully addressed disease biology in many ways. This has led to a growing number of biopharmaceutical companies that may succeed with different approaches targeting the same underlying cause. We expect this to lead to increased competition and lower drug prices over time. In this environment, the most successful companies are likely to be those that can bring innovative medicines to market quickly and at scale, relying on a single blockbuster to sustain most of their corporate value. It is not.

supply chain innovation

Drug price reductions can also be achieved through supply chain innovation. Companies can now reduce development and manufacturing costs through outsourcing instead of building expensive research and manufacturing facilities. Innovative Contract Development and Manufacturers (CDMO) offers this as a service, enabling small businesses to take advantage of its scale and state-of-the-art research and manufacturing facilities. This will make personalized medicine affordable, even in small quantities.

Role of investors in innovation

Against the backdrop of increasing innovation, investors can play a key role in incentive systems for life sciences companies. Short-term investors may encourage management to set high prices with frequent price increases to maximize short-term gains. In contrast, long-term, patient capital encourages companies to expand opportunities by investing in teams, technology, and science. This increases your chances of success and makes you more resilient to setbacks. Importantly, he is one of those rare and valuable companies that can become more ambitious, expand the scale of their potential success, and thereby generate extraordinary and extraordinary returns for society and investors. It also increases your chances of becoming one.

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