Evolution of Healthcare Driven by Science, Information and Technology

Advances in science, more readily available medical information and new technologies are driving evolution of global healthcare increasing patient engagement, improving diagnosis and treatment and enabling patients with life-threatening diseases to live longer and healthier lives, according to CSL Limited CEO and Managing Director Paul Perreault.

“It’s all about diagnosing sooner, improving our ability to get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, or even finding a cure,” said Perreault at the 2015 International Plasma Product Biotechnology meeting this week. “Industry plays a critical role in this evolution. The way to succeed in the new environment is to innovate and adapt. In the end, we are about improving the well-being of patients.”

More than ever before, patients and physicians are more informed and engaged. New advances in technologies and the immense amount of medical information have empowered patients and assisted physicians to better diagnose and treat patients with life-threatening conditions. Perreault said that advanced diagnostics and genomics are two of the technologies that are making a difference.

“Technologies such as hand-held devices, advanced diagnostic tests and the Internet are revolutionizing the practice of medicine and the diagnosis of rare diseases, which often went undiagnosed for years,” said Perreault. “This is important for physicians who now have information at their fingertips that can mean the difference between successfully diagnosing and treating a patient with a rare medical disorder or not being able to make a diagnosis, which can be frustrating and disheartening for both patient and doctor.”

Genomic or precision medicine allows physicians to tailor treatment to their patients, or better understand how a patient may respond to certain drugs. While advances in precision medicine for certain cancers is well-established, it is less so in other disease states. However, clinical trials evaluating gene therapies for patients with rare diseases are in progress to correct the gene mutations causing the conditions.

Many patient groups are affected by inadequate market access, however this is especially critical for those with rare diseases, Perreault said. “We spend a great deal of time and resources understanding payer needs, the evolution of health technology assessments (HTA) and what these mean for patients, and support constructive engagement with payers,” he said. “It’s important that payers do not just look at cost alone. The value of therapies needs to be considered too. Standard HTA assessments should be modified to reflect the special nature of rare diseases, the impact of these therapies on such serious conditions, the societal benefit and the small patient population size involved.”

Perreault said that cost pressure and attempts to improve efficiency and quality of care have resulted in an evolution of healthcare delivery and business models such as outpatient, home care and new dosage forms. These lead to improved quality of life, changes in facility use and broader and different make-up of healthcare teams. Today, more patients are being treated in outpatient settings, through home care, or ACOs, and often with a broader and different make-up of healthcare teams.

While drug spending is often viewed as driving up healthcare costs, this is not the main driver of increased healthcare costs in the US, according to Perreault. Prescription drug spend account for a small and declining share of health spending growth. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America broke down every dollar spent on healthcare and found that hospital care is responsible for the main driver of healthcare costs. According to the breakdown, prescription drugs account for $0.09 while hospital physician and clinical services and hospital care account for $0.21 and $0.32, respectively.

“Our healthcare systems worldwide have evolved tremendously over the past decade, and they will continue to do so at exponential rates,” said Perreault. “Change is constant, but our future will remain bright if we embrace the opportunities that result in better patient care, and if we work together to shape the healthcare environment to increase access and improve outcomes.”

Source: CSL Behring

Last updated: 5/14/15; 10:05am EST



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