Trilogy Tidings
June 2009
in this issue
     Summer 2009, and one's fancy turns to ... Comparative Effectiveness!  The wires are buzzin'.  The news is unrelenting.  U.S. healthcare reformation is in the air!  It's coming, folks ... time to pay attention.  You may be tired of hearing about it and thinking about it, but medtech suppliers ignore this future at their peril.

     We address the issue this month, along with a tidbit about effective CEOs.
     Carry on, and remember: Refuse to participate in the recession!


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Comparative Effectiveness: Why should you care? 

Comparative EffectivenessThis is a term coined several years ago - perhaps in 2006 - to address comparisons among medical preventative, diagnostic, surveillance, and therapeutic methods.  There is certainly merit in applying the most effective method in every case, and the U.S. government has since mounted a concerted effort in comparative effectiveness research to develop data that can support these future choices among clinical methods.
     So far, so good.  But there's more.  It is now very clear - if there was ever any real doubt - that financial disincentives will be attached to methods that are judged inferior, disincentives whose ultimate purpose is to discourage the clinical community from applying these inferior methods and thereby enhance societal healthcare quality and reduce societal healthcare costs.  (One wonders what effect this will have on clinician autonomy and individual-case judgment, but that's another matter for another day.)  As part of last February's $787 billion stimulus bill, Congress took a big step toward creating a robust federal cost effectiveness review process.

     I've mentioned the likely heavy hand this will apply to medtech suppliers before, but I will reiterate here: You're gonna get whacked!  Specifically: 
  • If you have an existing product on the market, you may be subject to risks of reduced clinician favor and/or reduced insurance reimbursements.
  • If you're introducing a new product you may be faced with the twin burdens of demonstrating clinical superiority and economic superiority (lower societal costs) as prerequisites for regulatory clearance and insurance reimbursement.
In either case, you may have some extensive (and possibly expensive) work to do to (1) avoid Uncle Sam's interference in the first case, or (2) fully capitalize on your superior innovation in the second.
     I've addressed this future in a characteristically brief presentation entitled " Addressing the New Realities of Tomorrow's Healthcare Environment", which is available to you on the Reading Room page of our web site.
     If you're courageous or you're just a glutton for punishment, you can find a great deal of fact and opinion available on this topic.  I suggest two articles in particular.  The first is by Numerof and Sackman in the May issue of MX, the second is by McCaughan in the April issue of The RPM Report (which requires a subscription or some arm-twisting).   The first piece tries a bit too hard to sell consulting services; the second piece is focused primarily on the drug segment.  Both articles are well worth reading.
CEO Characteristics That Really Matter
     On a much lighter note, I felt vindicated in my beliefs on leadership and my personal experiences in that regard by a recent column by David Brooks, one of the better New York Times columnists.  His piece appeared on May 19.  Here's his takeaway paragraph:

Tough Boss"In other words, warm, flexible, team-oriented and empathetic people are less likely to thrive as CEOs.  Organized, dogged, anal-retentive and slightly boring people are more likely to thrive."

     That's not just Brooks' opinion.  His statement is based upon a study of 316 CEOs and their companies' performances by Steven Kaplan, Mark Klebanov and Morten Sorensen.

     So there.  I knew I was a good boss!  I just knew it.
Resources from our Archives 
     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.
     And, you can examine an archive of my prior newsletters (since February 2007).
What does Trilogy do? 
     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.

Contact Information
ContactInfoJoseph J. Kalinowski, Principal
LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/trilogy