International News: Spotlight on the Healthcare Industry - McDermott Will & Emery


The global healthcare industry has had the most challenging year in living memory. But 2021 is a new year. Alongside new challenges, such as whether or not healthcare employers can or should make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for employees, and the uncertainty surrounding the transfer of European health data post-Schrems II, there are also many new opportunities.

Sovereign Wealth Funds are increasingly seeing the health sector as an attractive investment market, and Social Impact Bonds have emerged as an excellent financing option for development projects that might otherwise find it hard to attract initial funding.

Healthcare companies still, of course, need to pay close attention to their commercial operations. As the market evolves to meet the new normal of an increasingly online and app-centric world, the need for robust agreements with software developers becomes ever more important. And the sector will always be the target of investigations into excessive pricing, and subject to developments relating to key tools such as Supplementary Protection Certificates. But the time has come to be cautiously optimistic and to look to the future of healthcare


Transfers of Health Data from the European Union to the United States in a Post-Schrems II World

Amy C. Pimentel | Romain Perray

The European Data Protection Board and a number of data protection authorities in EU Member States have issued guidance on how to safeguard EU/US data transfers post-Schrems II. Read more.

Sovereign Wealth Fund Investment in the Global Healthcare Industry

Hamid Yunis

Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) seek out investments that are resilient, conducive to their aims and objectives, and reasonably free from market volatility. The global healthcare industry is therefore an attractive market for SWF investment. Read more.

Impact Finance: Innovative Solutions to Target Global Health Issues

Ranajoy Basu | Carl J. Fleming

While the basic investment infrastructure needs to be developed, impact investment is becoming a stable and sustainable alternative for institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals. Private equity funding is well suited as a powerful vehicle to address significant healthcare, social, and environmental issues. Read more.

IP Ownership Considerations in Multi-jurisdictional Software Development Agreements

Cecilia Choy, Ph.D.

The use of overseas contractors to develop software applications may be cost-effective, but is potentially risky from the point of intellectual property rights. Read more.

COVID-19 Vaccination: Five Key Considerations for Healthcare Employers

Carole A. Spink | Paul McGrath

The question of whether or not to make vaccinations mandatory for workers is being considered by employers globally, particularly those in the healthcare sector. There are a number of key considerations that should be taken into account. Read more.

European Commission and National Authorities Take a Stand Against Excessive Pricing by the Pharmaceutical Industry

Hendrik Viaene

On 10 February 2021, the European Commission concluded its first excessive pricing investigation in the healthcare sector by accepting commitments from Aspen. The decision highlights competition enforcers’ efforts to improve patient access to affordable and essential medicines. Read more.

Access to Digital Health Applications and Digital Care Applications in Germany

Dr. Stephan Rau | Dr. Karolin Hiller, McDermott Alumna

On 20 January 2021, the German Federal Cabinet approved the draft law on the digital modernisation of healthcare and nursing care. The draft has been criticised for not taking into account lessons learned from the implementation of the 2019 digital health applications law. Read more.

Paris Court of Appeals Rejects Pharmaceutical Supplementary Protection Certificate Applications

Katya Ascher | Edouard Becker

The Paris Court of Appeals has applied the recent Court of Justice of the European Union judgement in Royalty Pharma to confirm the French patent office’s rejection of three Supplemental Protection Certificate applications. Read more.