Mehta Analysis: Trump Pricing Tempest In A Teapot Is An Opportunity For Bio-pharma Leaders

President Trump's much anticipated pronouncements on drug pricing reform leave a lot to be clarified. Biopharma companies and their leaders should grasp the opportunity to lead from the front and propose tangible and transformative actions that deliver benefits for all stakeholders. This may be one of the few letdowns that the biopharma industry should embrace, if not relish. Shrill propaganda by so many in the government, starting with President Trump himself soon after entering the US presidential race, had escalated…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: Welcome To The PBM Realm, Derica Rice and Andrew Witty

As two high-profile pharma veterans make their move into pharmacy benefit management leadership, Viren Mehta, founding partner of Mehta Partners LLC, ponders the challenges they face and the impact their actions will have on the pharma industry. Yet another exposé about the drug cost conundrum that the pricing strategies of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) pose for the industry was detailed mid-March in the Financial Times. This report, down to the penny, showed how many of the widely used drugs incur…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: Biopharma In The Digital Age: Critical Success Factors

It seems only a matter of time that the leaders of established biopharma will need to redefine core functions such as research, manufacturing and marketing around a new vision. Consider if every individual had a laptop and mobile phone equipped with a kit that regularly monitors vital signs and manages personalized health data under a life-time health care subscription service, allowing for real-time consultation with appropriate counselors and coaches from a consortium of providers – who also have access to…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: How Buffett and Friends can Succeed, And How Pharma Would Be Affected

Prices Will Come Down Substantially. Watch.” This is the president of the US talking about drug prices during his State of the Union Message to the US Congress! The New Year is already full of intrigue, and we're only a few weeks into 2018. The last week of January in particular threw a 1 – 2 – 3 punch at the industry: The new US Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar was sworn in. On the surface…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: Race To Harness Data Will Revolutionize PBM Systems

Google's Waymo self-driving car project just passed an important milestone, with the arrival of its fully autonomous modified Chrysler vans on the streets of Chandler, Arizona. Uber, GM and others will not be far behind. Society soon will need far fewer roads, parking garages, and of course cars—while hopefully the quality of our lives will see another step-change as it did with the smart phone revolution. And it is all about data and the resulting intelligence. Healthcare systems globally are…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: The Tangled Web of PBMs

Many of my friends in the pharma world feel that the evolution of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the US has led to their operations and impact becoming increasingly mysterious. While we understand in broad strokes the role they play, their business model has broadened to the extent it has become fuzzy—as if by design. We all harbor general skepticism towards middlemen, and question what actual value they add to the healthcare system. When it comes to PBMs, views on…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: How Relevant Is Traditional Pharma In Sustainable Healthcare?

An ageing society that is fortunate to benefit from an accelerating flow of innovative therapies must be prepared for an ever-increasing nominal healthcare spending. But can healthcare continue to take a larger share of the economy without starving other essential services for a healthy quality of life? This is an especially sensitive question in the ‘New Normal’ average economic environment of low single digit percent growth rate, when it is difficult to keep the healthcare cost growth rate at less…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: Shaming Biopharma managers

President Kennedy successfully persuaded US steel industry executives to manage their price increases responsibly for the collective good by shaming them from his pulpit. Would such a bully pulpit offer an effective answer to balancing the biopharma budgets? Let us fast forward two generations from the early 1960s to assess what has changed. First, self-interest has gained primacy today, at the same time as bipartisan decorum and the sense of common good have declined. The ability to publicly shame an…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: Biopharma’s 10% Myth

There’s a prevailing narrative that drug spending is a relatively minor 10% of overall healthcare spending in the US.  Like most narratives, this isn’t completely wrong, but it ignores a relatively big portion of spending on drugs: those drugs that are administered in a hospital or clinic and get billed under a patient’s medical benefit plan, rather than the drug benefit portion of their insurance.  Taking those hospital administered drugs, and other such direct distribution channels into account, the biopharma…

Continue Reading

Mehta Analysis: Disrupt or be Disrupted

Many industries are being profoundly disrupted by IT. The survival of the publishing industry is in question as ad rates have plummeted in response to data and content transparency in the digital world. Digital technology has enabled pricing transparency that is fundamentally shifting spending patterns in travel, entertainment, transportation and many other industries. The biopharma industry so far has not felt too much heat—thanks to the complexity of its business. (Also see "Six Questions For McKinsey's Fox On Pharma's Digital…

Continue Reading
Close Menu