New paths for healthcare, study says

New paths for healthcare, study says

Mumbai: Doctors and pharma firms will have less control over the future of medical treatment as patient awareness, cost pressure on insurers, new technology platforms and healthcare reforms emerge as game changers, a report by Ernst and Young said.

New categories of firms such as information technology and telecom and large retailers, as well as increased consumer confidence, will increasingly influence innovations in healthcare, said the report titled Progressions, Pharma 3.0, which was released on Wednesday.

“Innovation in the pharmaceutical area will be accepted strictly by a comparative effectiveness study, and the price of drugs and whole healthcare cost will be decided by analysing the comparative value that it offers to the patient," said Muralidharan Nair, partner, business advisory service, healthcare, Ernst and Young Pvt. Ltd, the India arm of the consultancy.

The report said industry trends are attracting non-traditional firms and will prompt drug makers to also focus on delivering healthier outcomes. Online services such as Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, which create open personal health information databases, are among such entities.

“The simple short message services and mobile-driven health is set to emerge as a key healthcare communications platform," Lynn O’Connor Vos, chief executive officer, Grey Healthcare Group, was quoted as saying in the report.

Hitesh Sharma, partner and national leader, life sciences practices, E&Y India, said drug companies are also exploring alliances with new types of firms.

The role of emerging markets and generic drugs will become stronger as governments focus on healthcare costs, especially in developed economies. Several drug makers and diagnostic firms are also exploring partnerships with national governments for growth, the report said.