Remember the time when the general wisdom was that biotech companies never died, they just changed their name and product focus. That was true for most of the history of the biotech industry until after the 2008 downturn/recession .That’s especially no longer the case in 2015. The “formula” for investors and, therefore, the new environment for most founders and innovators is to obtain proof of concept as quickly as possible with as little staff and cost and sell the product. The industry has adopted short term planning and has not learned from history how this can negatively impact the future of the industry

The immediate next step upon the completion of the “deal” is to merge the company with another, shut down the acquired company and lay off the professionals who developed it. When the innovative company was run with virtual staff, there isn’t any company to close. The experienced staff, usually contractors move on to the next gig.

When this process happens often enough, there is no time for building a staff and providing experience to new graduates and hired professional staff. The system will eventually produce a shortage of new life science scientists capable in the ways of R&D. This process has resulted in large layoffs of R&D professionals in the pharma sector as big companies find it cheaper to pick up products rather than research and develop them. Meanwhile, Ph.D. programs continue to develop more students expecting careers in academia. Formerly, they could move to industry but that avenue is closed if there are insufficient jobs with no chance to get drug development experience.

Some said that big pharma would become development houses as they obtained the research from biotech and academia in the future. What they didn’t see coming was the extensive offshoring and outsourcing of development. Perhaps the good news is the growth of these latter companies. See some data below.

The most recent Batelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014 report issued in 2014 advised:

  • “In 2012, U.S. bioscience companies employed 1.62 million personnel across more than 73,000 individual business establishments.
  • Over the past decade the industry has added nearly 111,000 new, high-paying jobs or 7.4 percent to its employment base.
  • Economic output of the bioscience industry has expanded significantly with 17 percent growth for the biosciences since 2007, nearly twice the national private sector nominal output growth.
  • The industry continues its tradition of creating high-wage, family-sustaining jobs with average wages 80 percent greater than the overall private sector and growing at a faster rate.”

Source: https://www.bio.org/sites/default/files/Battelle-BIO-2014-Industry.pdf

Despite the optimism reported in this 2014 report, Battelle noted some weakness in the form of decreases in NIH and VC funding. The ecosystem must remain healthy to avoid destroying this otherwise promising industry going forward. This 2014 report uses 2012 and 2013 data so they don’t include the major decline in drugs and pharmaceuticals employment that has continued since those data were collected. Medical device employment was more stable and anecdotal reports suggest improvement in the last year.

  • “The foundation of a healthy environment includes: Research funding that supports both the understanding of basic biological precepts and their ultimate translation into bioscience relatedproducts and services.
  • Regulatory systems firmly grounded in science and predictable in their application.
  • Strong protections for intellectual property, both domestically and internationally.
  • Medical reimbursement and payment policies that are favorable to the development of new and innovative biomedical products.
  • Government trade actions that sustain and improve the “openness” of international markets for U.S. bioscience goods and services.
  • Federal and state tax policies and incentive systems that sustain industry competitiveness.
  • Education and workforce development programs providing the skilled workforce needed for today and tomorrow.”

The good news for professionals is that the Research, Testing and Medical Laboratories staffing has increased by 9.7 percent while the drugs and pharmaceuticals has declined by 10.0 percent in the 2007-2012 period. See page 6 of the above mentioned Battelle Report for chart summarizing the changes in workforce.

Highlights of This Coming Week’s Life Science Events

  • Golden Gate Polymer Forum, Monday Evening, August 24, 2015; Topic: “Computationally Inexpensive Simulation and Modeling for Future Lithography Processes;” Speaker: Prof. Hayden Taylor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, U.C. Berkeley
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Aug. 25, 2015; Topic: “MALDI TOF MS: An Ongoing Revolution in Microbe Identification and Characterization;” Speaker: Dr. Gongyi Shi, Director of Scientific Affairs, Bruker Corporation
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, August 26, 2015; Topic: “Oncology Meets Immunology: Revolution of the Cancer-Immunity Cycle;” Speaker: Daniel Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Cancer Immunotherapy Franchise Head, Product Development, Oncology, Genentech

You can download details for the above events in a complete list of upcoming events by right clicking on Audreys Picks August 23, 2015.

Note that I am not able to send my blog and lists directly to you as I did for over 10 years. You can access them by reading my weekly blog and downloading my lists at https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/ You can also access via my website http://www.audreysnetwork.com.

Audrey

Some Miscellaneous Notes

I am attempting to catch up with some correspondence I received in last month that didn’t fit in my standard lists.

East Bay Life Science Group Formed

There’s a group now meeting in the East Bay. Yolanda Fintschenko, Ph.D. requested I share information about them for those living in that area.

“Please check us out and refer people to us if they live or work in the East Bay.” Their MeetUp page is http://www.meetup.com/East-Bay-Bio-Network/ and interested parties can join their group on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/groups/East-Bay-Bio-Network-6753464/about and follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/eastbaybionet.

Vice President, Strategic Marketing & Business Development Position

There’s a VP job listed by Coelyn. Ronald H. Coelyn; E-mail: rcoelyn@coelyngroup.com; Phone: 214-592-0275;web: http://www.coelyngroup.com

This client is an early stage medical device company developing clinical solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmia. The Company currently anticipates commercialization of its products in 2015. As the technology is proprietary and highly confidential nothing more can be said about it at this time.

He/she will be a highly respected, visionary leader in his/her industry sector, with a demonstrated track record of success in building businesses through hands-on interaction with his/her teams. Product commercialization, strategic marketplace positioning, and business development, should have been cornerstones of prior accomplishment.

Experience in the electrophysiology (“EP”) space is threshold requirement.

The successful Candidate will have effectively differentiated his/her companies/products from competitors by capitalizing on strengths (both current and potential) to provide consistently better value to customers than its competitors.

He/she will define business development as the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships and be able to present some examples of his/her accomplishments. He/she have meaningful Key Opinion Leaders (“KOL’s”) from the EP space in their “rolodex.”

Biodesign Innovation Fellowship, Application Due August 31, 2015

Webinar Date:

  • Aug 19 at 6pm (PDT) – register
  • Recording of July 30 webinar

The Biodesign Innovation Fellowship teaches a proven, hands-on, project-based approach to identifying important unmet medical needs, developing innovative diagnostic, device, or other medical technology (medtech) interventions to address them, and preparing to bring those products into patient care through start-up, corporate, or other implementation channels. [PLEASE NOTE: This is not the Stanford-India Biodesign fellowship, which is no longer offered.]

The fellowship is a launch pad for initiating, redirecting, or turbo-charging a career in medical technology. Graduates from the program apply their talents to:

  • Catalyzing innovation inside major medtech corporations
  • Building their own medtech start-up companies
  • Teaching and/or leading translational research projects for world-class universities
  • Driving innovation initiatives within academic or private medical centers
  • Becoming specialists in design, investing, or other aspects of the medtech innovation ecosystem

Individuals with a background in medicine, biosciences, engineering, computer science, product design, or business are encouraged to apply. Masters, medical, or doctorate degrees preferred. Candidate will be selected based on their experience, as well as their potential to become leaders in the medtech field. We encourage persons from all countries to apply.

Fellows become a member of the Stanford Biodesign team at the James H Clark Center on the Stanford University campus. Clinical Immersion is held at Stanford Hospital as well as nearby healthcare venues.

The fellowship is a full-time, intensive experience that runs from the beginning of August through early June each year. Fellows receive a monthly stipend and health benefits during the fellowship period.

Applications for 2016-17 are due on August 31, 2015. To be considered, please complete our online application. For those selected, interviews will be held on the Stanford campus November November 12 and 13. More information about the application process and timing is provided with our application instructions and FAQS.

Highlights of Upcoming Bay Area Life Science Events

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Aug. 18, 2015; Topic: “Targeted Brain Cooling For Stroke Prevention and Treatment”
  • HBA, Wednesday Evening, Aug. 19, 2015; Event: “Empowering Women to Change the Status Quo
  • NCC AWIS, Saturday Afternoon, August 22, 2015; Event: “NCC AWIS Family Picnic”

You can download details for the above events in a complete list of upcoming events by right clicking on Audreys Picks August 16, 2015.

Note that I am not able to send my blog and lists directly to you as I did for over 10 years. You can access them by reading my weekly blog and downloading my lists at https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/ You can also access via my website http://www.audreysnetwork.com.

Audrey

 

 

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | August 9, 2015

Is Greed Hollowing Out the Life Science Industry?

Is Greed Hollowing Out the Life Science Industry?

I’m finding it hard to stomach the continuing greed for higher incomes of investors and “taking out” of companies and their staff in the name of “exits” as markers of the supposed advancement of the life science industry.” Mergers and acquisitions mean the destruction of our industry in the future instead of the growing of companies and reward to professionals who made the success possible. We continue to encourage students to engage in science fields but our corporate values are leading us to truncated careers and failed dreams.

There used to be a time when there was an ethical concern that U.S. companies provide well-paying jobs for challenging work to life science professionals–in order to maintain a vibrant workforce to continue delivering advances in our field. The more recent 2008 economic downturn meant less funds for building new companies and a resulting extinguishment of the candle of building flourishing companies that last. Now the focus is on short-term gains with no thought for the professional workers who make the successful products in the immediate time frame. They will be laid off and business workers who have no capability to build a successful new cure or treatment will earn bonuses for cutting short- term costs and finding a buyer for the innovators’ products without concern about their future.

Off shoring of manufacturing is a part of the mantra of pleasing acquirers and investors. I envision the meltdown of the genius and brilliance of American workers in our industry as they turn to work in health care services when they are past 40 years of age. Instead of providing funding for their growing skills to bring more success in the future to the biotech and medical device industry, companies will use up our best and brightest and cast them aside.

I now encourage all students with whom I meet to learn a trade along with their advanced degree so they have a means to pay off their student loans incurred over many years of professional preparation, support their families and pay their mortgages as VCs place the “golden goose” of our industry in jeopardy. Without a change in this short term thinking and squeezing out every penny for investors, I see a “death spiral” in our future as our workforce loses its way.

Upcoming Life Science Events in the Bay Area

  • Bio2DeviceGroup, Tuesday Evening, Aug. 11, 2015; Topic: “Innovation, Invention & Entrepreneurial Thinking;” Speaker: Mir Imran, CEO & Founder of InCUbe; CEO of Rani Therapeutics, InCube Labs
  • WIB-San Francisco Bay Area, Wednesday Evening, Aug. 12, 2015; Event: “Speed Networking Bling Party”
  • HBA, Wednesday Evening, Aug. 12, 2015; Event: HBA Supper Club

You can download details for the above events in a complete list of upcoming events by right clicking on Audreys Picks August 9, 2015.

Note that I am not able to send my blog and lists directly to you as I did for over 10 years. You can access them by reading my weekly blog and downloading my lists at https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/

Audrey

Medicare and ACA Require a Factual Based Analysis

Medicare the much maligned health care safety net for U.S. seniors turned 50 on July 30. Both Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, two respected economists, wrote analyses of the program this past week and provide insights into the myths and continuing lack of information about the real value as well as demerits of the system. The conservative Right is against Medicare but their arguments do not agree with the facts.

Medicare is not the problem of the high cost of health care but rather, I agree with them, the solution. The Right is against this government program because it doesn’t place more profits in the for-profit sector. Unfortunately, their approach will only increase the costs due to the inefficiencies of for-profit bureaucracies and provide less care to seniors going forward.

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helping to control costs while expanding care for all and Medicare successfully providing quality care for seniors once political barriers to its effective implementation are removed, it’s not logical to call for its ending or curtailment. It’s an ideological not a rational-factual based political argument.

See Reich’s and Krugman’s arguments in favor of Medicare at http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/31506-happy-birthday-medicare

and http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/27/opinion/zombies-against-medicare.html, respectively.

Highlights of Coming Week’s Life Science Events

  • WIB-San Francisco Bay Area YWIB, Monday Morning, Aug. 3, 2015, Event: “Visit to Stanford CHARM Lab!”
  • CLSA (formerly BayBio), Thursday Evening, August 3, 2015; Event:”CLSA Life Sciences Pub Night”
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Aug. 4, 2015; Topic: “Medical Device Sterilization and the ‘State of the Industry’;” Speaker: Jeff Sauter, Business Development Manager, NUTEK Corporation
  • RAPS San Francisco Chapter, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015; Topic: “2015 FDA Pacific Region”

You can download all the details for these above events as well as those through end of 2015 by right clicking on the Audreys Picks August 2, 2015 title.

Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | July 26, 2015

Sharply Rising Costs of Generics Now a Concern

Sharply Rising Costs of Generics a Concern

Another aspect of the pricing paradigm shift is the switch to generics from branded products to save costs for care of Medicare and Medicaid patients. 80% of these latter groups are treated with much lowe- priced generics, but that may be changing as generic drug prices have been increasing. Ten percent of generic drugs have doubled more recently.

For years, PBMs have used their formularies to encourage patients to choose generic drugs by including all generics in the bottom, or lowest out-of-pocket cost, formulary tier,” says Anna Goldbeck, a principal in the National Pharmacy Practice at Buck Consultants at Xerox. “Some PBMs are reacting to the rising cost of generics by creating new tiers that require members to pay higher copayments for ‘non-preferred’ generic drugs.”

Goldbeck says factors driving price increases for generics include:

  • Consolidation among generic drug companies;
  • Shortage of raw materials;
  • Supply and demand; and
  • Regulatory issues

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now investigating the sharp rise in generic pricing and associated increases to Medicaid over the past decade. They are guaging these rising generic drug prices by comparing price increases between 2005 and 2014 against the rate of inflation. Senators want generic manufacturers to pay a rebate to Medicaid when drug rates rise faster than the rate of inflation, a provision that’s currently in place for brand-name drugs.

Highlights of Upcoming Life Science Events in the Bay Area

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, July 28, 2015; Topic: “A Medical Device Startup’s Obstacle Course – how Benvenue Medical is overcoming the challenges to bring new spine technology to the marketplace;” Speaker: Jeff Emery, Senior Director of R&D, Benvenue Medical :
  • GGPF, Tuesday Evening, July 28, 2015; Topic: “Shape-Persistent and Self-Healing Polymers Enabled by Efficient Chemistries;” Speaker: Prof. Yan Xia, Dept. Of Chemistry, Stanford University
  • HBA Supper Club, Tuesday Evening, July 28, 2015; Sheila Babnis, global business lead, innovation, Genentech will host an evening of networking and dinner.
  • WIB-San Francisco Bay Area, Thursday Evening, July 30, 2015; Event: Social at Cantor Arts Center

You can download complete details for the above and other meetings through December by right clicking on Audreys Picks July 26, 2015. You can also download this week’s listing of jobs– JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough July 26, 2015on the same site.

Note that I am not able to send my blog and lists directly to you as I did for over 10 years. You can access them by reading my weekly blog and downloading my lists at https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/

Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | July 19, 2015

What If Users Set Drug Prices?

Shifting Sands on Drug Pricing

What if health care insurers and payers set the price they would pay for drugs for their clients based on their value calculations? Until this past year such an occurrence seemed impossible or improbable. Short of a branded drug being genericized, patients had no recourse but to pay the company set prices. Some patients who could access drugs outside the U.S. or bought drugs online are able to get a lower price but also risk getting ineffective drugs.

What will pharma companies do in reaction to all the talk of others setting their prices? This will certainly happen in some form in the high priced cancer drug arena based on the momentum underway and public opinion supporting a change. What do you think?

Upcoming Life Science Events in the Bay Area The Week of July 20, 2015

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, July 21, 2015, Topic: “Dye-less or OCT Angiography for Diagnosis and Management of Ocular Diseases;” Speaker: Utkarsh Sharma, Project Team Leader / Staff Scientist, Carl Zeiss Meditec
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, July 22, 2015; Topic: “Addressing the Challenges of Innovation Through Proactive Collaboration and Investment;”Speaker: Thorsten Melcher, Ph.D., Senior Director, New Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation

You can download complete details for the above and other meetings through December by right clicking on Audreys Picks July 19, 2015.

Hope you are enjoying the summer and, especially, the rain that has appeared in some parts of the state.

Note that I am not able to send my blog and lists directly to you as I did for over 10 years. You can access them by reading my weekly blog and downloading my lists at https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/

Audrey

Hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. I’ve been out of town with European visitors since the 4th but am providing the list of upcoming meetings in the Bay Area as well as Jobs That Crossed My Desk. Note that I am only providing my lists on my blog found at https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/ so you must go to the blog to receive them.

A reminder that it’s important to build and maintain a vibrant network. Being listed on Linked In is not enough by itself. You really need to have in person contacts to provide support when you are considering changing positions. This means committing time to networking as well as attending programs where you can meet new contacts and also learn new material to keep your skills up-to-date.

Upcoming Life Science Meetings in the Bay Area

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, July 14, 2015, Topic: “Six Ways to Fail as an Entrepreneur,” Speaker: Tom Duerig, Founder and CTO, Nitinol Devices and Components
  • NCC ACRP, Thursday Evening, July 16, 2015, Event: Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Networking Event –
  • CABS Science Workshop, Thursday, July 16, 2015, Event: “Targeted Drug Delivery, Not Just ADCs. How Far Are We from the “Magic Bullet”?”

You can download Audreys Picks July 12, 2015 with complete details on the above and other meetings and conferences through Dec. 2015 by right clicking on the highlighted titles. JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough July 12, 2015 is also provided.

Notice:

I am currently no longer able to send my weekly blogs and lists to individuals due to my provider’s ruling that I appear to be sending spam. Until I work this out, I will only be posting the blog and lists to my website https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/ and the industry linked in groups to which I post. I apologize for this. I will notify you as this situation develops.

Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | June 28, 2015

Supreme Court ACA Decision Maintains Coverage to 6.5 Million

Impact of Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Decision

ObamaCare appears to have survived a possible crippling impact from a decision by the Supreme Court with regard to interpretation of whether citizens could receive assistance under health care exchanges in states established by Federal government. The decision of 6 to 3 with the majority opinion written by Justice Roberts would seem to “seal the deal” but some conservative politicians are still talking about undoing the Affordable Care Act.

Commentators say the Republicans were rescued by this decision as they would have inherited a situation where they would need to develop solution to correct removal of health care from 6 and a half million Americans who qualified earlier.

Industry stocks responded favorably to the outcome and many citizens breathed a sigh of relief. Those who were without insurance for many years feared losing their access available these past several years under ACA. They were especially relieved.

Upcoming Meetings in Bay Area the Weeks of June 28 and July 6

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 30, 2015; “Development of a novel targeted antibody fusion protein as a new generation cancer therapeutic;” Speaker: Rathin Das, CEO, Synergys Biotherapeutics
  • Qb3 Entrepreneurship Seminar, Tuesday Mid Day, June 30, 2015; Topic: “Empowering Consumer Health Through Technological Innovation & Partnerships;” Speakers: Chris Chu, Director of Investments and Tejash Shah, Director of Strategy and Business Development Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center
  • Palo Alto AWIS, Tuesday Evening, June 30, 2015; Topic: “Pave Your Career Path by Getting Involved with AWIS” and ice cream social
  • Bio2Device Group, July 7th—No Meeting

You can download Audreys Picks June 28, 2015 with complete details on the above and other meetings and conferences through Dec. 2015 by right clicking on the highlighted titles. JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough June 28 final, 2015 is also provided.

Notice:

I am currently no longer able to send my weekly blogs and lists to individuals due to my provider’s ruling that I appear to be sending spam. Until I work this out, I will only be posting the blog and lists to my website https://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/ and the industry linked in groups to which I post. I apologize for this. I will notify you as this situation develops.

Have a great holiday weekend and I’ll be back on July 12.

Audrey

Some New Ideas for Cancer Drug Pricing

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center doctors have come up with a cancer drug pricing calculator called DrugAbacus in a challenge to the pharmaceutical industry to come up with a more rational pricing formula. Their calculator suggests giving increases and reductions to a cancer drug’s value, and therefore, its pricing according to the following factors:

  • How much do patients benefit from the treatment?
  • How difficult are the treatment’s side effects?
  • Is the treatment for a rare disease?
  • Does the treatment address a large public health burden?
  • Is the treatment using a novel or new mechanism?
  • Did the treatment cost a lot to discover or develop?

You can find more about this at http://www.drugabacus.org/

You can read a full description of the above action in a Wall Street Journal article entitled “How Much Should Cancer Drugs Cost?” found at http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-much-should-cancer-drugs-cost-1434640914?KEYWORDS=peter+bach

Dr. Peter Bach led the group to come up with this suggested approach to pricing. In an interview, Dr. Bach said prices for many new cancer drugs don’t reflect their value to doctors and patients. “Right now, manufacturers have total price control, and total control of prices has led to irrational pricing behaviors,” he said.”

Daniel Goldstein, a medical oncologist at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is quoted in the same article as saying, “Currently cancer drug prices aren’t linked to the benefit they provide. They’re currently priced on what the market can bear, which is an unsustainable system.”

It will be interesting to hear Pharma responses to this challenge to their pricing methods for cancer drugs.

Contractors at Real Endpoints, a drug-cost analysis firm, and engineers from the software firm NetQuarry helped develop the Drug Abacus.

Upcoming Bay Area Meetings This Coming Week

  • GGPF, Monday Evening, June 22, 2015; Event: Dinner lecture: “Materials for Enabling Nanomanufacturing,” Speaker: Alshakim Nelson, University of Washington & IBM Almaden Research Labs
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 23, 2015; Topic: “Sports Analytics & the Future of Wearables,” Speaker: Avery Lu, Co-Founder & CM), Palo Alto Scientific
  • Rosenman Institute, Wednesday Afternoon, June 24, 2015; Topic: “How Precision Medicine is Transforming Medical Devices;” Speakers: Zachary Bogue, Co-Managing Partner, Data Collective; Edward Chang, MD, Professor in Residence, Neurological Surgery & Phy6siology, UCSF; Christine Leong Connors, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase; Eric David, MD, JD, Chief Strategy Officer, Organovo; Regis Kelly, PhD, OBE, Special Advisor to the President on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of California, and Director, QB3; Richard Klausner, MD, Senior VP and CMO, Illumina; Juan-Pablo Mas, Partner, Action Potential Venture Capital; Casey McGlynn, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Campbell Rogers, MD, CMO, Heartflow; Bruce Rosengard, MD, PhD, CTO, Global Surgery, Johnson & Johnson
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, June 24, 2015; Topic: “The CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Revolution;” Speaker: Jacob Corn, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Innovative Genomics Initiative, UC Berkeley
  • Band of Angels, Thursday Afternoon, June 25, 2015; Event: “Mentor Day for Startups”
  • The 23rd Annual Medical Device Dinner and Next Day Conference, Thursday and Friday, June 25-26, 2015
  • Medical Device Dinner And Interview with Steve Blank, Thursday June 25, 2015, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, Location: Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, 2900 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA
  • 23rd Annual Medical Device Conference, Date and Time: June 26, 2015, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Location: Palace Hotel 2 New Montgomery Street San Francisco, CA

You can download Audreys Picks June 21, 2015 with complete details on the above and other meetings and conferences through Dec. 2015 by right clicking on the highlighted titles. JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough June 21, 2015 is also provided.

Audrey

Since the Congress is stalled due to extreme partisanship and brinksmanship by a minority of even one at times, the Supreme Court has stepped into the vacuum on issue of the Affordable Health Care Act. The lawsuit comes down to the interpretation of just four words according to those who support it. The outcome of possibly trashing the entire act lies with five conservative judges. In a June 9th article covering statements by President Obama as to why the Court should not kill the Act in front of audience of health care administrators, the Washington Post quotes Obama ““Five years in, what we are talking about is no longer just a law.” () “It’s no longer just a theory. It isn’t even just about the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare,” he said. “This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another. This is health care in America.”

The intent of the act was to provide affordable health care to all Americans. Yet now the future of the act hangs on the interpretation of four words in the bill that were overlooked in the drafting. While typically such problems with text are resolved administratively, challengers to the law have chosen litigation which has now risen to Supreme Court level. I don’t believe that this law should be taken down in its entirety over the interpretation of just four words any more than I believe that Medicare would be taken down over four words. Some would say that there will be chaos if law goes down, especially, in face of more favorable views of the act since the horror stories predicted by challengers didn’t come to pass.

The law states that tax credits will be available through so-called exchanges, or online marketplaces, “established by the State.” Since not all states established these exchanges as anticipated when the law was written, but rather the Federal government stepped in to create them, the case argues that Federal government-established exchanges should not get subsidies. Congress would have corrected this phase in more bipartisan Congress but didn’t so. Now the Supreme Court takes a shot at potentially invalidating the law which has been in effect for over 5 years and added over 7 million to those receiving health care. The administration and other proponents say the words must be read in the context of a law clearly intended to make health insurance more widely available and affordable.

The health care industry will be affected by the outcome of the decision expected this month. Once again Judge Roberts’ vote will be critical just as it was in 2012 when the law was upheld by a 5-4 vote in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Millions more patients funded to obtain our industry’s products means a favorable impact on revenues so it’s best for the industry if the law is upheld and subsidies are made available for lower income citizens. On moral grounds I’d like to see the U.S take its place with most Western powers who recognize that universal health care is a right of their citizens.

Upcoming Bay Area Life Science Events

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 16, 2015; Topic: “Augmenting human cognitive capabilities with IBM Watson – a way to the future through the Human-Machine communications;” Speaker: Mike Kuznetsov
  • Stanford Medical School, Wednesday Evening, June 17, 2015; Topic: “The GutCheck – an EKG for the gut;” Speaker: Steve Axelrod, CEO, G-Tech Medical
  • Deloitte and HBA, Thursday Evening, June 18, 2015; Topic: “Digital Innovations in the Healthcare Ecosystem: The Next Generation;” Speaker: Dr. Harry Greenspun, MD, director of Deloitte Center for Health Solutions
  • PBSS, Friday Afternoon, June 19, 2015; Topic: “Identification and Monitoring of Impurities and Degradants in drug substances and drug products: Regulatory Requirements, Analytical Strategies and Techniques;” Speakers: Dr. Jim Zhang, Senior Director of Quality Control, Alexza Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Maria Victoria Slva Eipe, Principal Scientist for the Attribute Sciences Department at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA and Dr. Christine Gu, Department of Pharmaceutical Science at Genentech

You can download Audreys Picks June 14, 2015 with complete details on the above and other meetings and conferences through Dec. 2015 by right clicking on the highlighted titles. JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough June 14, 2015 is also provided.

Audrey

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