Harvard Business School Journal

Notes from the 2009 Harvard Business School Healthcare Conference

In the afternoon, I attended the Biotech/Pharma panel, which was fascinating. A lot of great questions were tackled. I’ve laid out the three best ones, and the panel’s responses.

Is the FIPCO (fully integrated pharmaceutical company) model still viable, and if not, then how will it evolve?

On one side was William Annett of Genentech, who maintained that economics actually dictate that it’s not cheaper to outsource. Given a 20-year life cycle, integrated management is necessary: In the pre-clinical phase, commercial input is necessary for market viability. Then, when a product gets to market, good post-marketing trials require R&D input.

On the other side were both Sarah Cairns-Smith of BCG and Mark Goulet of Merck. Cairns-Smith insisted on a rapidly arriving disintegration of FIPCO, while Goulet added that the only reason FIPCO hadn’t disintegrated yet because the existing market pressures hadn’t forced companies to do so. In the current atmosphere, where efficiency dominates, the industry is likely to be redefined soon (though neither laid out specifics as to how). Skip Irving of Health Advances, made what I felt were a couple of strong points: Companies are sticking to therapeutic areas they know well, in order to reinforce areas of strength. Thus, licensing and M&A are here to stay. He also pointed out something I personally agree with: a strong move in the industry from the PCP-based model to specialty-based models.

Everyone talks about the success / failure of R&D. Is R&D working fine, and we’ve seen an accidental blip, or is there something ineffective and inefficient about it? What can and should change about it?

Goulet pointed to the need for better pre-clinical validation in order to help products fail faster. And on a note reminiscent of the earlier personalized medicine panel, he emphasized the need for biomarker research, to help determine which patients respond to a drug, and whether or not the drug is truly binding to its target.

Annett’s comments focused less on the R&D process than on the coming “patent cliff.” Over the next five years, the industry will lose $45B worth of US revenue and $65B worth of global revenue from loss of patent protection. Although current pharma pipelines are lacking, current biotech pipelines are fairly full, and we are likely to see more M&A as a result. [This comment proved most prescient given that Pfizer announced its acquisition of Wyeth less than 10 days later.]

Many European countries have put in place single-payer systems. Given the contentious nature of pricing, is the way that pharma/biotech companies capture value going to change?

Goulet, again echoing the PM panel, pointed to the drug/diagnostic combination of therapy plus information as the most attractive value proposition for payors.

Cairns-Smith brought up a great point about the need for cancer patients to take a combination of therapies, all of which are expensive. Being one of ten needed therapies is different from being just the one. We could see a move to outcomes-based pricing.

PROOF! mormons and cons are wankers:

by bornagaingumby

Besides its political bent, Utah's per capita appetite for online pornography makes it the nation's run-away red-light state.
A study by a Harvard Business School professor shows that Utah outpaces the more conservative states -- which all tend to purchase more Internet porn than other states.
Online porn subscription rates are higher in states that enacted conservative legislation banning same-sex marriage or civil unions and where surveys show support for conservative positions on religion, gender roles and sexuality, according to an analysis published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives

Do your own friggin' research.

by livecartoondog

If you seriously think an AWOL draft dodger who has failed in every business he's run, took us into an unjustified war in iraq without a plan and after being advised not to, run the dollar into the ground and compromised our security by decimating our military, compromising our intel by outing a CIA agent and providing a recruitment/training ground for Al Queda has better judgement than a guy who worked his butt off to complete law school, was the president of the Harvard Law Journal, opposed the war in Iraq, scored 100% on the CDF scorecard and wrote 2 books reflecting how he thinks (and I like how he thinks), then you're pretty useless and not worth spending the time on

Here is a better link to the letter... + quotes

by ProductPrototype

"Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government

ZEROCHAOS If you name your work-force-managemen

by sdb38

If you name your work-force-management company ZeroChaos, you better deliver. Harold F. Mills is CEO of the Orlando, Fla., staff-services firm, with annual sales of $700 million. The company has customers in 14 countries. In 2010 the Orlando Business Journal hailed the former Ameritech executive as one of its 40 Under 40 leaders. Mills has a bachelor's degree from Purdue University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Follow him on Twitter.

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