Top 4 Healthcare Predictions for 2010

This is a guest post from Cliff Cramer, Director of the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program at Columbia Business School. Do you have a response to Cramer’s post? Post them in the comments section below.

  • Multi-national pharmaceutical and medical technology companies will increase their investments in emerging markets, notably China and India, to access cost effective human capital and a growing middle class of consumers better able to afford more advanced medical products.
  • Information technology will make greater strides in a healthcare industry which has been slow to adopt, driven by financial incentives (e.g., government subsidies) and employees and consumers demanding better and more accessible information (e.g., transportable e-records) as their share of healthcare spending increases.
  • Healthcare reform will continue across developed (U.S. and EU countries) and developing (China) markets, focused on increasing access to affordable and quality patient care. These initiatives are likely to be incremental due to political and economic (budget) considerations.
  • Consolidation will be a major theme in 2010 as insurers and hospitals seek additional leverage in contract negotiations, and pharmaceutical companies explore transformational mergers to broaden product lines, strengthen geographic breadth (emerging markets) and seek to manage earnings given major patent expirations in the near term.

About Cliff Cramer:

Cliff Cramer has spent more than 25 years in the healthcare / pharmaceutical and financial services sectors. He was managing director at Merrill Lynch in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group and managing director at JPMorgan in the Corporate Finance Group, where he served as head of M&A for the pharmaceutical sector. Earlier, Cramer was vice president, corporate planning & development, for Merck & Co., Inc., with worldwide responsibilities for strategic planning and business development. In addition, he was cofounder of American Health Capital / VHA Enterprises, Inc., a healthcare / financial services company serving the capital needs of multihospital systems.

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  1. ronaldsommer
      December 15, 2009

    I am concerned that we are getting into an area where we should not be.Our huge pharms companys are acting like the other companies in our country ship every ting overseas,bring it back and sell at a less fair market value,we all know what has happened in China try and buy made in the USA,you have to search long and hard and in most cases cannot find products made in the USA>this goes back to where we are unless we start hiring back people we will never see a economy solvent.I guess I beleive in made in the USA as this is what our forefathers fought so hard for so lets refain from global competion and take care of our nation first?

  2. Mike May
      December 16, 2009

    Regarding IT and healthcare, many factors make this a desirable but complicated marriage. Clearly, healthcare would benefit from improved use of IT, but economic and sociological issues must be resolved. Many hospitals continue to use hand-written and electronic records, many medical devices are not designed for easy incorporation into IT, and two articles in this week’s JAMIA indicate that physicians remain concerned about privacy with electronic health records. These obstacles will take time, education, and funding to turn healthcare into a modern user of IT.

  3. Sumontro
      December 16, 2009

    There is nothing wrong with expanding into new markets. I believe that pharmaceuticals and biotechnology need to be competitive in the rising markets of China and India. And this will help take care of America because it can help reduce prices across the board due to access to more customers. My question is how are the brand name pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies going to fill the gap in the pipeline quickly?

  4. Bob Crutchfield
      December 31, 2009

    Healthcare reform will push the emphasis on appropriate utilization of existing healthcare resources. At its core, this is behavioral change for a $3 trillion industry. Behavioral change will require the alignment of interests between payers, providers, patients and employers. I believe IT solutions will be the engine that allows this alignment to occur through the creation, aggregation, mining and measuring of these metrics that ultimately will demonstrate value and patient outcomes.