Toft Group Recap: 35th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2017

The 2017 JP Morgan Conference in San Francisco, California was once again full of exciting new product reveals, industry deals, discussions on the impact of a new presidential administration, and an increasingly stronger movement toward value-based care. Here’s a recap of our top 3 takeaways:

1. 100 Life Sciences and Healthcare Companies Sign Open Letter for Gender Diversity

Over one hundred prominent Life Science and Healthcare executives signed an open letter to increase efforts for greater gender diversity in the workplace. The letter is a commitment by leading executives to make gender diversity and inclusion a top priority, recognizing its importance in creating businesses that thrive. It is also an effort to be conscious of the “unconscious biases” that hinder equality in the workplace, and includes specific action initiatives companies can implement.

As an executive search firm committed to gender equality in the Life Sciences and Digital Health workplace, Toft Group is operating the forefront of this initiative.  Most all of our customers are making this a top priority when hiring at the executive level.

2. National Healthcare Policy

The future of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain. But what is almost guaranteed is that the shift from fee-for-service to value-based healthcare will continue. It is clear that 2017 will be a year where healthcare executives prioritize clearly defining a strong value-proposition for existing products and those in the pipeline. This will require industry leaders to evaluate and think differently about their product strategy, development processes, talent pool, organizational structure, and partnerships.


3. Drug Pricing

Drug pricing remained a major focus of the meeting. The topic was further polarized when President Donald Trump criticized drug companies for manufacturing the vast majority of drugs offshore. President Trump also indicated that new bidding procedures may be on the horizon.

Industry executives continued to defend drug pricing as a risk of return given the length of time, uncertainty, and level of innovation required to develop breakthrough drugs. The issue, of course, is confounded when new drugs must compete with low-cost generic therapies.

Just after the conference, the pharmaceutical industry launched a new multi-million dollar campaign, #GoBoldly. The campaign aims to refine the drug industry’s reputation by highlighting the significant advancements in research which develop breakthrough medications that save lives.

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