Collaborative Transformation In Action

Unique collaborations are taking place throughout the healthcare industry presenting new opportunities for business innovation and medical breakthroughs. However, as the path to a new age of healthcare is paved, each of these distinctive collaborations needs meticulous legal and business integration planning.

 

Recently, McDermott brought together some of the industry’s leading innovators including Partners HealthCare, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, CVS Health and McDermott’s health and life science teams at the WSJ Health Forum. The panel session, hosted by McDermott, was titled, “Collaborative Transformation Through Unique Partnerships” and focused on the importance of partnerships for the future of healthcare and life sciences. Throughout the next month, we will be releasing a series of short videos highlighting the key takeaways from the WSJ Health Forum. Sign up for video release updates. 

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The Panel

Collaborative Transformation was on full display at The Wall Street Journal 2019 Health Forum in April, both implicitly and explicitly, as the program explored a variety of cross-stakeholder partnerships — from large biopharmaceutical companies partnering with artificial intelligence developers, to device manufacturers working with virtual reality companies, to biopharma collaborating with health insurers. The panel included:

CHRIS COBURN

Partners HealthCare

THOMAS MORIARTY

CVS Health

TIMOTHY PETERS STRICKLAND

Otsuka Pharmaceutical

KATE MCDONALD

McDermott

KERRIN SLATTERY

McDermott

VERNESSA POLLARD

McDermott

STEPHEN BERNSTEIN

McDermott (Moderator)

WSJ HEALTH FORUM VIDEO SERIES


Today's Video: What Collaborations Are Coming?

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COLLABORATIVE TRANSFORMATION AT WORK


The panel discussed five strategic imperatives that healthcare and life science leaders must consider as they move forward on their collaborative journeys, including:

1. LEAD WITH THE DATA STRATEGY

Innovation today is all about data, so there cannot be a stand off when it comes to data ownership, access or utilization. Collaborators need to think about the data strategy upfront and understand that data is dynamic – what was not valuable yesterday can yield tremendous insights today.

Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will increasingly rely on real-world data to support both pre-market and post-market regulatory processes, making it even more imperative to have an agreed upon data-collaboration strategy from the start.

2. ARTICULATE WHAT YOU BRING INTO—AND WHAT YOU NEED OUT OF—ANY COLLABORATION.

Collaboration may occur between dissimilar organizations, causing dissonance in what different entities bring to and expect out of a partnership. Companies need to anticipate and plan for those dissimilarities and have a good understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as what they will get out of any particular collaboration. Collaborators also need to be prepared for the relationship to evolve over time and be willing to anticipate and manage against change.

3. CONDUCT A THOROUGH, BUT FLEXIBLE, DUE DILIGENCE.

Companies cannot evaluate target partners in a vacuum. Instead, they should work with their legal and business teams to understand a potential partner’s portfolio, FDA regulatory strategy, compliance strategies, etc. Flexibility is critical if the companies are dramatically different sizes. For those partnerships, traditional due diligence can be enhanced by prioritizing diligence on corporate culture, risk tolerance and compliance; meaningful partnership conversations can proceed from there.

4. RECOGNIZE THAT REGULATION IS NO LONGER JUST A FEDERAL CONCERN

The FDA, Congress and policymakers are recognizing that healthcare is changing and there is a need to decrease regulatory barriers.

When federal regulation is then coupled with increasing regulation at the state level which varies state by state, e.g., regulation around value-based contracts, the need for collaboration and scale just to manage the regulatory requirements is a necessity. Similarly, companies that are looking to partner on an international level will be faced with additional, varying sets of rules and regulations. Collaborators need an advisory team that is cohesive and can work together across the complex, ever-changing regulatory landscape.

5. ENGAGE WITH THE ULTIMATE BENEFICIARY— THE PATIENT—WHERE THEY ARE.

Customers will also shape what partners can do and how successful their solution might be. For collaborations ultimately looking to engage patients, for example, knowing how, when and where to best engage with them is critical. Unfortunately, many solutions don’t prompt engagement or try to drive behavior change until after a patient is sick, versus intervening before a problem occurs.

To increase the likelihood of success, innovators should ensure that various points of engagement are aligned with the patient journey, and map back to how they interact within the healthcare community.

Q&A WITH THE PANEL


What's driving healthcare and life sciences companies to embark on unusual partnerships?

  • The need for innovative solutions in healthcare is driving Collaborative Transformation. – Thomas Moriarty (CVS Health)
  • The evolving regulatory landscape at the state and federal levels is also driving companies to work together. – Kate McDonald (McDermott Will & Emery)

What role does data play in these collaborative healthcare and life sciences relationships?

  • Data strategy and willingness to share data are important in any collaboration and is part of the industry’s future collaborations. – Vernessa Pollard (McDermott Will & Emery)
  • One key point of a collaboration is understanding data as a shared resource. Sharing data allows partners to gather new insights from old data, discovering trends and potential solutions that can be accessed for improved care. – Chris Coburn (Partners HealthCare)
  • A lot of deals don’t get done because entities are prescribing what could go wrong. There is some level of a calculated leap that needs to happen. – Stephen Bernstein (McDermott Will & Emery)

How can healthcare companies make the system more patient-centric?

  • The patient needs to be at the center of everything we do, from consulting with patient advocacy groups to providing patients with points of care that match their behavioral patterns. – Timothy Peters Strickland (Otuska Pharmaceutical Companies (U.S.)
  • The opportunity to connect with patients and healthcare consumers is vast. A more connected healthcare system can ensure that care is not disjointed, which will drive patient satisfaction and adherence. – Kerrin Slattery (McDermott Will & Emery)