“Value is more important than innovation,” declared Angus Russell, CEO of Shire Pharmaceuticals, in his opening keynote address at Biopharm America last week. At a drug development conference, where attendees typically focus on interesting new ways to address therapeutic problems, that sounded a bit heretical.
But it was a telling example of how cost pressures are now manifesting in pharma. Some complex treatments can be new and innovative, but not provide measurable improvement in patient outcomes. Can we conclude that they have no value? This has been one of the central questions fueling the debate over U.S. healthcare reform, and will influence development of medicines into the future.