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5 Takeaways From the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
All this week, the healthcare industry, especially analysts and investors, focused their attention on presentations by CEOs and CFOs at the 34th annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.
All this week, the healthcare industry, especially analysts and investors, focused their attention on presentations by CEOs and CFOs at the 34th annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. The meeting, held January 12-15, in San Francisco, California, brought together leaders in the pharmaceutical and healthcare world as they showcased their pipelines and portfolios, and their vision for 2016.

1.      As the industry struggles to adapt to the growing demand of justifying the value of a product or service, payers and pharmacy benefit managers are negotiating indication or outcome-based pricing proposals with manufacturers. Leading the way is Express Scripts. According to president Tim Wentworth, the PBM “saved our clients more than $3 billion through the Express Scripts National Preferred Formulary and $2 billion through novel compound drug management solutions.” He was speaking on the evening of the first day of the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

2.      A digital health panel at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference analyzed how the industry can move from collecting data to turning it into actionable and useful information. Panelists Farzad Mostashari, MD, co-founder and CEO of Aledade; Jonathan Hirsch, MSci, founder and president of Syapse; Deborah Kilpatrick, PhD, CEO of Evidation Health; Owen Tripp, co-founder and CEO of Grand Rounds Health; and Lonny Reisman, MD, CEO of HealthReveal, discussed collecting and using digital health data, patient access to their own health data, and more.

3.      A collaboration between the who’s who of healthcare was announced at the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. With the hope of accelerating the development path of next generation immunotherapy in oncology, The National Immunotherapy Coalition has coalesced leaders from large pharma, biotech, academic cancer centers, community oncologists, and a health plan. This coalition forms the basis of The Cancer MoonShot 2020, with a robust backing from vice president Joe Biden. To further discuss this venture, Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, founder and CEO of NantWorks, and the brain behind this entire operation, invited Dan Hilferty, president and CEO of the Independence Health group (parent company of Independence Blue Cross); and Paul Black, CEO, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc, to participate on a panel at the Healthcare Conference.

4.      Heads of the largest federal healthcare financing organization and the largest physician organization in the United States shared past achievements and future plans with investors and venture capitalists at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of CMS, and James Madara, MD, executive vice president and CEO, American Medical Association (AMA), highlighted organizational glories from 2015 and provided a glimpse of what the upcoming year would bring. Slavitt introduced the Next Generation accountable care organization model, which announced 21 new participants the same day as his speech at the conference. The highlight of Madara’s presentation was AMA’s investment in Health2047, a healthcare innovation company that will provide clinical solutions for providers and patients.

5.      Matt Pfeffer, the newly-appointed CEO of MannKind Corporation also presented at the meeting, on just his “third day on the job,” he told the audience. There was tremendous interest in what Pfeffer would have for the investors, especially with the announcement just the week before that Sanofi was to opt out of its deal to sell the inhalable insulin Afrezza for MannKind. Disappointing sales were blamed on prior authorization, the FDA label restrictions, and the need for spirometry before doctors could write prescriptions. However, Pfeffer  assured patients that they would continue to have access to Afrezza. 

 
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