Leading Expert On U.S. Health Reform Gives His Two Cents

Paul Keckley noted that things may get worse before they get better in the healthcare and lifescience industry in the United States. The Executive Director of The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, the healthcare research arm for Deloitte LLP., was the luncheon keynote speaker at this year’s OneMedForum NY 2011.

With the recent decrease of the FDA’s funding by 11 percent, those bringing new drugs and devices to market will expect to pay a substantially higher fee for approvals through the FDA and the efficiency of the FDA in the approval process is questionable.  In addition, Keckley notes that information driven healthcare may be completely integrated within five to seven years. Healthcare and lifescience research will be captured in a research depository database. FDA studies around safety and efficacy will be put in that same database along with medical records from doctors and hospitals and records from those individuals covered by government insurance programs.

The program aims to bring together cost and equality and address what works and how much it costs. Keckley does not expect the series of laws called healthcare reform to be repealed, but does expect substantial pressure on margins, greater transparency of trial results, and full disclosure of failed trials. Considering the decade it will take for the laws to be implemented and the four election cycles that will transpire in that time, Keckley believes changes are inevitable.

On the horizon, he sees a substantial interest in intellectual property protections, patent violations from global trading partners, and prize funds that might reward inventors in the US making their inventions available more readily.

“If you think of healthcare reform as a law that was passed and is now being implemented, that would be inaccuarate,” he said. “It is a law that is being refined, rules being written, changes likely.”

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