Ingrid Maes, Director Pharma, Life Sciences & Healthcare PricewaterhouseCooper, Antwerp, Belgium

That means that we have to be much more selective in finding the right treatment and applying the right treatment to patients. And this starts first with a very good diagnosis of the disease and then adjusts treatment based on that.

In fact we have been doing a global study which was called ‘Bending the cost curve’. Under this umbrella initiative we have looked at various innovations world-wide and looked into what are the cost implications of these innovations in the healthcare systems.

But where we saw most of the difficulties is that the diagnosis track and the treatment track are not included in one system. In a lot of countries you have separate reimbursement systems. Aligning the different approval tracks between the diagnostics and the therapeutics is indeed a challenge. We have done a study where we interviewed different regulatory bodies in various European, American and major Asian countries.

We see that payers are today more and more realising that this is inhibiting future potential to reduce costs. Payers realise that by combining the two approval tracks it will allow to have personalised medicines implemented and introduced in the market.

Will PHC help to optimize usage of resources in healthcare?

Yes. Making use of existing resources and being able also in more developing countries to tackle the healthcare problems will be the biggest challenge in the future.

We believe also that personalised medicines are not just something for the developed world but will certainly also be something for the developing world.

And that requires in fact that pharmaceutical companies will have to collaborate with diagnostic companies to bring together combined solutions onto the market.

Are targeted therapies a precondition for success in future?

What we see is that in future large pharma companies will not be able to afford any more research costs to develop products that will be under price pressure immediately when they arrive on the market.

At this moment we see that a lot of the companies are discussing on different wave lengths, not really understanding each other very well, which makes it difficult to work on a combined business model. Collaborate or die is the key message.

Recently we did a study and looked into the diagnostic world, what are recent mergers and acquisitions and what are companies with a big potential in going forward. We’ve seen in fact that there are four models appearing. In one of these models that we identified the company has a diagnostic and a therapeutic business under one roof - that will be a company that has already a step forward.

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