Recently I came across yet another media article with suggestions as to how digital health products can gain more widespread adoption. The writer notes that “we can learn a lot from the pharma and healthcare industries,” and goes on to discuss the importance of engaging the doctor.
This article, like many I read, doesn’t acknowledge the downsides of using pharma’s tactics.
I have to assume that this is because from a business perspective, there aren’t a lot of downsides to pharma’s tactics. Pharma, along with many other healthcare industry players (hospitals, insurance companies, device manufacturers) has overall been extremely successful from a business standpoint.
So if the intent is to help digital health companies succeed as businesses, then by all means one should encourage them to copy pharma’s tactics.
But as we know, what works for business has often not worked well for serving the needs of individual patients, or to society from a health services and public health perspective.
Continue reading “Doctors: We Can’t Leave It to Business to Educate Us”
Filed Under: Physicians, THCB
Tagged: Big pharma, clinicians, digital health, entrepreneurship, Innovation, Journal Watch, Leslie Kernisan, Physicians, the business of healthcare
Apr 5, 2013
Google’s informal corporate slogan is “Don’t be evil.” Whole Foods is a Fortune 500 company with a net revenue of 10 billion dollar that prides itself on a commitment to social responsibility. Both companies have pledged to do long-term good in the world, even at the expense of short-term gains, and both are wildly successful.
If corporations can be profitable as a result of their commitments to social justice and corporate ethics, why can’t this doctrine be extended to the pharmaceutical industry? Someday, a company called GoodPharma might reach the Fortune 500 on the basis of a pledge to improve access to medicine, conduct international research trials in accordance with the highest standards of research ethics, engage in research on orphan diseases, publish negative research findings, promptly report information about adverse effects, and generally act as a model for ethical industry practices. If this business model hasn’t been explored, it should be.
Continue reading “Google, Whole Foods, and … Big Pharma?”
Filed Under: OP-ED
Tagged: Access to Medicine Index, Big pharma, Bill of Health, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ethical Practices, GlaxoSmithKline, GoodPharma, Google, Harvard Law School, Nadia Sawicki, Petrie-Flom Center, Pharma, Physicians, Public Access, Whole Foods
Dec 10, 2012
Patients waiting expectantly for medical research to produce important new cures are finding bad news almost everywhere they turn.
Pharmaceutical companies are suffering from a much-discussed innovation crisis, as old drugs lose patent protection without new drugs to replace them; meanwhile, the small biotechs that could potentially bail big pharma out struggle to raise capital .
University scientists, for their part, are beset by an unseemly credibility crisis, as the intrinsic fragility of medical research is now vividly apparent from the soaring number of high-profile retractions, and the well-documented difficulty of reproducing many published findings outside the originator’s lab.
At the heart of this crisis is the misalignment of two very different cultures.
Academic scientists tend to focus on publishing papers, and usually assume that the results will eventually be useful. They place a high value on novelty, and relatively less value on whether the data are robust, easily reproducible by others, or truly relevant to human disease. Captivating data from putative laboratory models of disease generate publications, even if the model is not very predictive of human disease – and unfortunately, most models aren’t.
Conversely, big companies traditionally focus on generating efficiencies through scale, and on developing reproducible processes. This works very well for manufacturing, reasonably well for large late-stage clinical trials, and essentially not at all for early-stage (discovery) research.
Continue reading “Mission Critical: How Translation-Focused Disease Foundations May Save Medical Research”
Filed Under: Uncategorized
Tagged: academic research, Big pharma, Drug research, Health policy, Myelin Repair Foundation, research and development
Apr 23, 2012