The danger of having R&D with no HE

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Some of you may have noticed my post from the MedTech Conference I attended in San Jose last week, where I reported a comment made by a CEO of a major device company; "if you do not have a health economics specialist on board from day one of the development of a new product you are lost"

This got me thinking. Like many of you, I have been in and around the medical device and IVD industry for a lot of years (30+ in my case). How many products during that time have been developed without any reference to health economic outputs? In the past it was probably most. I was involved in the early introduction of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs). We all believed they would extend patient life (though at the time there was a big question of quality of life), but it was many years before hard data supported this assertion.

The reality now is that without genuine evidence many healthcare systems will refuse reimbursement. Some will therefore argue that it is an imperative now that health economic strategy is a crucial part of product development, and many investors are recognizing this. One told me recently that he categorically would not invest in a medical device unless there was a clear integration of health economics into the product development plan. The days of developing a product based on engineering brilliance and hoping that it will bring patient benefit may be fast disappearing.

I am now a specialist medical device executive recruiter. If you would like to discuss sourcing health economic talent, or other “mission critical” specialist medical device expertise, please mail me on and arrange an appointment to discuss.

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